Apr 27, 2018 News
Government has submitted a request to the National Assembly for over $2.5B to finance the country’s case against Venezuela in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as well as to buy aircrafts for the army.
According to Financial Paper No. 2/2018, the Government is seeking the additional funds for the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Ministry of Social Services and the Guyana Defence Force.
The total supplementary Provision is $2,526,563,240. Of this $1,388,049,000 is current.
Of that $1.3B, $600M has been earmarked to offset “increased expenditure” for the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority arising from the transfer of responsibilities that were once under the Guyana Sugar Corporation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also wants $788M. This is the estimated cost this year for the handling of the Guyana/Venezuela border case at the ICJ. The amount will include payment of legal fees, the Financial Paper explained.
Under Capital Estimates, the Agriculture Ministry is also asking for $226M. The explanation for the sums is that they are sought to facilitate the procurement of six long boom excavators and four mini ones along with spare parts. This expenditure is necessary as it came from a legal matter between the Guyana Tractor and Equipment and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority.
Under the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the sum of $346.5M is being asked for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport expansion project. For the year, $5B had been allocated for the project.
The $346.5M is for the purchase and installation of two additional boarding bridges. Two bridges are already installed at the Timehri airport. The expansion project is to be completed this year.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Protection is asking for $81.6M for the construction of a fence, of over 4,300 feet at the New Opportunity Corps, Essequibo Coast. The facility, which houses juvenile inmates, has seen a number of breaches in recent years.
Notably also the Guyana Defence Force is set to benefit from four aircrafts to increase security in the country.
Government has been talking about this for a while.
The Financial Paper explained that the $484.2M that is being requested is for final payment.
GDF, it was explained, had already identified financing for aircrafts to the tune of $213M from its 2018 capital expenditure to meeting the initial payments of the four aircrafts.
Financial Papers submitted to the National Assembly to request additional financing to what was already approved in the National Budget has been norm.
However, when it comes up for debate, the Government side has to give explanations for the spending.
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