Indigenous Guyanese believe budget 2023 is ‘one of the best’ – Gov’t MP

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Indigenous Guyanese believe that the $781.9 billion 2023 budget is one of the best in terms of the allocations towards hinterland development and the advancement of the indigenous people.

So says Member of Parliament (MP) Yonne Fredericks-Pearson during her contribution to the budget debate in the National Assembly on Monday.

She made the assertion in rejection of statements by Opposition MPs who presented before her and claimed that the budget, propped up by carbon credit payments, needed to do more for indigenous Guyanese.

Fredericks-Pearson dismissed the claim as a falsehood and in turn accused the Opposition of claiming discrimination in the allocation of resources because of a strategy to sew disunity.

The government MP said indigenous Guyanese have always been consulted and included by the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) in the decision-making process both at the community and national levels.

“Talking to my indigenous brothers and sisters, they said this is one of best budgets they have heard so far.

“Thanks to (Finance Minister) Ashni Singh and his staff… when Ashni Singh came back, the ordinary people say that is the man for the job,” Fredericks-Pearson added.

The MP noted that although monies were directly allocated to Amerindian and hinterland development, these groupings of Guyanese also benefit from the large sums allocated under the education, health and infrastructure sectors.

In 2023, a sum of $2.7 billion is budgeted for the Amerindian Development Fund, which includes continued training in tourism and hospitality, business development plans, garment construction, ATV, and small engine repairs, as well as provisions for Presidential Grants to 233 communities.

Furthermore, the sum of $5 billion is budgeted for hinterland road development.

An additional $93.3 million is budgeted to support 804 students through the hinterland scholarships programme and in preserving the cultural uniqueness of Amerindians, the government has committed a further $124 million to the Celebration of Heritage in 2023.

The National Toshaos’ Conference, budgeted at $91.8 million, is expected to continue to add meaningful transformational engagements.

Another $4.7 billion is allocated for Amerindian development programmes and initiatives, specifically tailored to improve the livelihoods of our indigenous people.

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