‘APNU+AFC failed Amerindians miserably’ – Sukhai says land titling to be prioritised this year
The APNU+AFC Coalition’s proclaimed care for Amerindian Guyanese was challenged on Wednesday by Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai who used her budget debate presentation in the National Assembly to declare it a sham.
Accusing the former Coalition government of indiscriminate neglect and causing stagnation to village economies, Sukhai cried shame at the APNU+AFC’s record on Amerindian land titling.
Amerindian land titling, extensions, and demarcations which was started by the PPP/C government was only prioritised once again with the return of the party to government in 2020, Sukhai said.
She rapped the Coalition on its failure to successfully complete a single land titling during its five years in office.
This year, the government plans to conduct 19 demarcations and 11 extensions.
“This is far more than zero which the APNU+AFC delivered to the Amerindian.
“This is a demonstration of the vested interest in ensuring Amerindians and hinterland villages get the best of the country’s resources under this government,” Sukhai added.
Noting that she was laying the facts, Sukhai said the Coalition has no moral standing to speak about effective government or take credit for land extensions, putting to rest the argument over the last few days that the APNU+AFC was a caring government towards Amerindians.
Some $500 million is allocated in the 2023 budget to advance Amerindian land titling activities.
Sukhai also used her presentation to outline the planned development of Amerindian villages this year across the hinterland and other social services specially designed.
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.
Several commercial, eco-tourism, agricultural and infrastructural projects are also catered for. Furthermore, the sum of $5 billion is budgeted for hinterland roads development.
An additional $93.3 million is budgeted to support 804 students through the hinterland scholarships programme.
And the National Toshaos’ Conference, budgeted at $91.8 million, will continue to add meaningful transformational engagements.