The Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, recently said that he was not satisfied with the financial allocation his Ministry was granted for the year ahead, but he however understands the decision made by the Minister of Finance.
His Ministry was granted $30.7 billion of the $267.1 billion budget for 2018.
Ramjattan said, “I did indicate to the Minister that I needed lots more money because as I said we need lots more rehabilitation, lots more brand new buildings, lots more assets and indeed we will never be satisfied”.
He added, “The trouble however, and we need to understand the Minister of Finance’s position, is that that’s the amount of money he has and we have to be collegial in understanding his predicament too”.
The Minister stated that he is, as a matter of fact happy, in that this year’s budget location is higher than last year’s. He explained that, “We are not going to get exactly what we want because the revenue stream is not there.”
In view of the demands that his Ministry made, he noted that work will commence on the Mazaruni Prison and on the Georgetown Prison.
This newspaper documented in September that the Ministry of Public Security had only spent $631 million of the $2.4 billion that was allocated for the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), which handles the expenditures for the Ministry as it relates to projects, equipment and several other aspects.
The Public Security Ministry was initially granted $29.1 billion in the 2017 Budget.
In the Ministry’s defense, Ramjattan explained that the situation was expected to improve before the reading of the 2018.
He even said, “…Now I understand that we are going to spend all of our monies before the year is finished because of the fact that almost all the contracts are now out and have been in the process of completing evaluation with the Tender Board”.
Following this statement made by the Minister, bids were read on November 14, last for the expansion of the Mazaruni Prison, Region Seven.
The project is estimated to cost $3.186 billion, according to the Ministry’s engineer.
The Minister had primarily said the budget allocation will be used to strengthen the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Prison Service.
It was related that funds have been requested for informants in intelligence-gathering. The Minister noted that attention will be placed on overseas training for personnel while the force seeks to have a full complement of ranks.
Plans are also drafted to have CCTV cameras around Georgetown to ease the pressure on officers stationed in the areas, according to him.
The Member of Parliament asserted that, “428 youths were trained this year and out of those from 20 communities, they had opportunities in relation to a number of technical training (programmes) and right now 62 of those received loans and have started their jobs.”
As it relates to the year ahead, Ramjattan disclosed that another 420 youths will be trained. (Davina Ramdass)
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