(www.kaieteurnewsonline.com) The General Policy Debate of Budget 2014 will commence in the National Assembly today and Finance Minister last evening by way of a public statement called on all parties involved to keep in their active consciousness, the purpose of their seat in the Parliament, and their responsibility to the people who have placed them there.
“I appeal to my colleagues in the National Assembly for serious and civil debates of Budget 2014. This should not be treated as a stage for political grandstanding,” said Dr Singh.
This third budget of the 10th Parliament, like previous budgets, is another opportunity for elected officials and leaders to demonstrate to their constituents and all people of Guyana that they can, and will work in the interest of the nation, the Finance Minister said.
He suggested that since the presentation of Budget 2014, a week ago, civil society groups and stakeholders have added their voice, shared their concerns and expressed overwhelming support for the measures in Budget 2014.
“These are the voices that the members of the August Assembly are ultimately representing…Let us act prudently, responsibly and intelligently in the interest of these persons who we are elected to represent.”
The Minister called on all Parliamentarians to “let us ensure that the single mother who commits diligently to sending her children to school receives government support via the National School Feeding and Uniform Programs; the cottage farmer who depends on electricity to grow his business is provided with affordable and accessible electricity; the health care providers in our hinterland communities who depend on accessible roads and bridges to deliver vital medications, that our future generation of children have a clean, healthy environment because of initiatives like the Low Carbon Development Strategy.”
He said that Budget 2014 presents another opportunity for the National Assembly to demonstrate that, despite political differences, “we are a people who can work together in the interest of moving our country forward in unity and with unquestioning resolve”.
Dr Singh said that Budget 2014, like those before under the PPP/C Government, is a reflection of its policy to foster economic, social and infrastructural development throughout all sectors…This PPP/C Government has repeatedly and consistently demonstrated its commitment to the people of Guyana with each year’s budget being larger than the previous one.”
According to the Finance Minister, each and every Guyanese has a role to play in developing this nation, members of the National Assembly no less.
“Let us demonstrate from this high office of the National Assembly that we will not play political football with another year’s budget…Let us demonstrate that we can work together from the hallow chambers of the National Assembly to build A Better Guyana for all Guyanese.”