Gov’t asks for $47B to pay for absorbed electricity rates, much-needed infrastructure works

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The government is seeking parliamentary approval for another $47 billion in supplementary funding to offset the costs it incurred by agreeing to absorb the increase in electricity rates and other much-needed works such as the completion of roads and bridges.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni SIngh, on Wednesday, asked the National Assembly for the supplementary funding to address critical intervention in several sectors including energy, agriculture, infrastructure and amerindian affairs.

Of particular note is the $6.6 billion is being sought for the provision of additional resources for the payment of electricity arrears to the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL). Since March, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said that the government would absorb the impact of rising fuel prices on the cost of services provided by electricity companies so that it does not translate into high electricity bills for the Guyanese people.

See below the full release from the Ministry of Finance, detailing the breakdown of sums requested:

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh today presented a Supplementary Bill Comprising Financial Papers Numbers 2 and 3 to the National Assembly to address a number of urgent interventions across several key sectors including Energy, Agriculture, Infrastructure and Amerindian Affairs.

The Financial Papers, together amounting to over $47 Billion, include Financial Paper No 2 of 2022 totalling $2.9 Billion which caters for Contingency Fund advances covering the period August 15November 29, 2022 and provides for a number of interventions, including provision of additional resources to support the Linden Electricity Company and provision of additional resources to conduct urgent drainage works including rehabilitation of drainage channels, access bridges, revetments and dams along with the installation of stainless steel sluice doors in Regions 2 to 7 including Georgetown.

With respect to Financial Paper No 3 of 2022, $44.4 Billion is being sought, including supplementary funding of close to $1.4 Billion under the Office of the Prime Minister for provision of additional resources to support electricity companies in Linden, Lethem, Mabaruma, Kwakwani, Port Kaituma, Mahdia, and Matthew’s Ridge. Additionally, $6.6 Billion is being sought for the provision of additional resources for the payment of electricity arrears to the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL). Government remains committed to absorbing the impact of rising fuel prices on cost of services provided by electricity companies to ensure that it does not translate into high electricity bills for the Guyanese people. Approval is being sought for $1 Billion for the provision of additional resources for operational expenses to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) and $2 Billion for the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA).

Meanwhile, $18.2 Billion is also being sought under the Ministry of Public Works for the provision of additional resources to facilitate the upgrading of roads and drains in various communities, $938.2 Million for the provision of additional inflows under the Caribbean Development Bank’s programme to facilitate advancement of civil works on the Linden to Mabura Road Project, $275.9 Million for the provision of additional resources to facilitate completion of water supply interventions in hinterland areas and the procurement of a new drilling rig, and $371.1 Million for the provision of additional resources to procure vehicles to boost the operational effectiveness of the Guyana Police Force under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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