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Committee of Supply approves $2.46B Indigenous Peoples Affairs budget

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Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe in response to a question raised by Opposition MP, Nigel Dharamlall clarified that in the execution of the Amerindian Land Titling Project, staff of the Ministry are paid $20,000 per day at the subsistence rate.

She noted that all expenses are handled by the UNDP in relation to this project.

Rising on a point of clarification Opposition MP and former Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai questioned the rationale behind more funds being allocated for the Music Festival as compared to the rodeo activity which sees the participation of more than 50 villages.

Minister Garrido-Lowe promised to supply this information within 48 hours. MP Sukhai expressed surprise that the Minister could not provide a verbal response, since in her opinion it’s a simple policy matter.

Under line item 1405400, Amerindian Development Project some $1B, 343M is allocated and the Opposition raised concerns regarding how this amount would be expended and on what projects.

Minister Garrido-Lowe said over $11M would be used for the completion of the Tomato Project at Paramakatoi, the awarding of Presidential Grants to 215 villages to the tune of $215M, $40M and $5M respectively for a dormitory and teachers’ quarters at Bina Hill and $4M for the construction of a mechanic workshop, among other projects.

Opposition MP Nigel Dharamlall also questioned the whereabouts of home solar systems of which $500M was invested and how many villages were catered for. However the Minister said ICT does not fall under her purview and posited that the relevant agency would provide the necessary information.

For the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs a total of $2.46B was approved with $991.7M under Current Expenditure and $1.471B for Capital Expenditure.

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