Public Day helps ministries to identify areas for legislative changes

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Citizens flocking one of the many booths during the public day exercise

GOVERNMENT’s outreach on Wednesday was not just for the people, as it allowed the various ministries to do introspection and identify areas for legislative changes.

Persons flooded the Ministry of Finance with questions about the Guyana Revenue Authority, National Insurance Scheme and even student loans during the outreach at the Square of the Revolution on Wednesday.

“When persons are not getting answers the only way out is to come to the minister…we could guide people on the further steps to resolve issues or at least say action will be taken,” said Junior Minister of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma in an invited comment.

Some of the enquiries made the ministry realise that legislation, in relation to financial matters, needs to be amended so that issues could be resolved.

Minister Sharma said people need to understand that certain issues cannot be dealt with right away but incrementally through a process of amending the legislation.
The Ministry, he said is a service industry, meaning it provides services to every ministry and agency.

A section of the large gathering at the Square of Revolution

According to Sharma one of the direct projects under the ministry is the Basic Needs Trust Fund which is focused on training communities and children.

Over at the Ministry of Business, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Rajdai Jagnauth said many minibus operators, taxi service owners and potential business people used the opportunity to seek clarity on certain issues.

A potential businessman, Carl Roberts said he was excited to finally get the opportunity to engage the Small Business Bureau. Roberts, who wants to open a grocery store, said the advice he received was sufficient and he will be pursuing further measures to get a loan in order to start his business.

There were many persons like Roberts who benefited immensely from answers to questions which they had for, in some cases, years. One of the ministries that drew a crowd was the Ministry of Social Protection which was spearheaded by the subject Minister, Amna Ally.

Minister Ally said the exercise was intended for ministers to take Government to the people so that they could highlight issues which they seldom get solutions to.

“We have dealt with a number of cases and we had resolution to matters… you have various things like pension, labour matters…it is a gamut of issues and there was an exceptionally well turnout,” said Minister Ally.