Budget 2023 Delivery

ON Thursday last, the National Assembly passed the Appropriation Bill into law for the year 2023. This Act, as you already know, has the PPP/C Government’s blueprint or work plan, policies and measures for the year contained within it.

Now, it is time for the PPP/C Government to start with the delivery of goods and services that they promised the people this year. They must continue the transformation of the economy and focus their efforts and attention on dealing with the immediate and important needs of the population.

The time for political debates and defence of the PPP/C’s philosophy is gone, for now.

People need action and change to their lives! Not only positive change, but badly, even patiently, the people are waiting for the PPP/c Government to fix their roads, drains, bridges, buildings, hospitals, schools, communities and general livelihoods some of which are in a deplorable condition.

After all, the PPP/C Government has arguably done well so far and has managed to set the economy on a path to further development, growth and progress until we achieve One Guyana.

No one can deny, every day, Guyanese are getting issues and problems resolved whether it is in the housing and water, human services and social security, labour, finance and local government sectors and others.

But there has to be more fan out exercises, community meetings, and forums where the ministers come face to face with the people they serve more often because the government is not Georgetown-based but for the entire country.

A good example of leadership, in this respect, should be taken from President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, a man who is sometimes working literally all the time and takes a very aggressive and passionate approach to needs of people.

Dr Ali, is in fact, working eight times harder than any of his ministers and staff. No apologies made here! He moved his entire office to Berbice recently and has not stopped pushing the envelope with the idea of what a President of Guyana can do and is supposed to do, redefining ideas.

Never in the history of this country, has there been a President that is more down-to-earth, driven and a “get-it-done” sort of man, former president Bharrat Jagdeo aside.

So, his ministers, Regional Chairmen, Mayors and other officials must understand that this is the time for them to work more than ever, proving that the budget allocations and measures are indeed pro-poor and pro-development oriented.

They have to reach every nook and cranny of our society taking the messages of accountability, transparency, fairness, and non-discrimination along with benefits and programmes included in this year’s budget which stands at $781.9 billion.

The PPP/C Government cannot afford to fall into trap of their predecessors who were driving fancy and luxury cars, eating lavishly at banquets, and dressing up for the part while the country’s people were crying out and the poverty situation was getting from bad to worse.

The government must also not pretend to work for the ordinary folk like the Granger Administration which was void of any policy measures and philosophical tools to address the growth and development concerns as well as needs of the people and country as a whole.

For example, their focus was targeting the sections of the population that traditionally supported the APNU+AFC alliance, the public servants and employees of the State with “fat cat” at the expense of everyone else. To them, sugar workers and farmers were collateral damage that is perhaps the reason for the destruction of sugar and rice industries or as they call it – right-sizing the industry.

They must not talk down to people when they meet them or exhibit high handedness and arrogance in the coming months when they are going out to deliver the measures and goods in the budget.

Avoid the Broomes, Lawrence and Harmon foot-in-mouth disease or catching the Norton and Patterson flu. This PPP/C Administration must display confidence and should make the difficult decisions that they need to make to solve and bring relief to the public in the short-term while they study the problems more carefully and bring a good long-term policy remedy.

Finally, the implementation of this budget will require strict compliance with the systems of good governance. The PPP/C Government must not let the contractors and staff that have to man the hallmark projects get away with murder and shoddy work. They must demonstrate zero-tolerance for late delivery and substandard work.

Termination and prosecute the persons because these capital projects must bring the intended benefits and relief to the people.

Also, there must be prudent financial management of the country’s resources. There must be value for every dollar expended on the current and capital side of the approved estimates.

It is no secret that the budget is historic but the Opposition took notes and all of the relevant documentation in every area of the country and will criticise the PPP/C ministers for slow, poor or non-implementation of the projects next year when the budget is presented.


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