Feb 13, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – With its aim to develop and showcase the potential of athletes and artistes and young people across the country, the Government has allocated $2.7 billion for the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in this year’s national budget.
This was announced yesterday, by the Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Ashni Singh, as he presented the 2021 Budget in the National Assembly.
During his presentation, Dr. Singh said that the administration is cognizant of the vast talents and skills of our people, which have gone underutilized and unappreciated. In this regard, he said that the government would aim to develop and showcase the potential of sportsmen and sportswomen, and artistes, both here and internationally.
He added, “We will also endeavour to create the enabling environment to increase income generation for the culture subsector through partnership with the private sector for the creation of galleries, museums and dance schools in communities across the country, among other areas.”
According to the Minister, these initiatives are also intended to augment the government’s drive to create niche tourism throughout our country.
He said in this regard in the year 2020, the Government made notable strides, with the One Guyana Concert that showcased the culture of Guyana over a virtual platform. The activity, he said attracted over 500,000 online viewers.
“In 2021, we will develop a National Cultural and Creative Industries Policy to guide the development of the sector and reinstitute the Advisory Boards for the National Gallery of Art and the National Archives. The National Trust will also undertake to update their legislation in alignment to the modern trends in heritage preservation and to support its expanding mandate,” Dr. Singh disclosed.
As such, for Budget 2021, the Minister said that the government has allocated $30 million for grants to the cultural and creative industries for which emphasis will be placed on original cultural and creative projects with a credible and well thought out plan for commercialization and sustainability.
Additionally, he said that over $120 million is budgeted for capital works in support of the advancement and preservation of culture and arts, specifically: to improve seating in the lower auditorium, and sound and lighting systems of the National Cultural Centre; to improve visitors’ experience at the Castellani House; to rehabilitate the dance studio of the National School of Dance and; to improve facilities elsewhere.
Further, another $36 million has been budgeted to upgrade heritage sites at Fort Nassau, Dutch Heritage Museum and the Indian Arrival Monument at Palmyra, to improve facilities for the promotion of our rich and diverse history.
According to Dr. Singh, $1.5 B in 2021 is to facilitate the development of sport across our country.
“Of this amount, $915.5 M is allocated for the improvement of community grounds, countrywide, to expand their use as parks and create premium, multi-purpose, sporting facilities of international standards commencing in Regions 2, 6 and 10,” he said, adding that other improvements include the installation of lights on community grounds, laying of synthetic materials at the athletic tracks in New Amsterdam and Wismar, and upgrading of other sports facilities.
In conclusion, he said that the sum of $618M would be utilized to host tournaments, maintain sports facilities and supporting select sports associations.
“Of this amount,” the Minister stated that “$320M is budgeted towards professional training of athletes and coaches as part of the ‘Sports Academy’ programme.”
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