The Parliamentary Committee of Supply on Wednesday approved $13.1 billion for capital spending on the continuation of much-needed infrastructure upgrades at local markets.
This sum is part of the wider $18.9 billion approved by the Committee for the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. And it caters for the provision of community projects and programmes.
Asked by Opposition Parliamentarian Ganesh Mahipaul for a breakdown of the $13.1 billion, subject Minister Nigel Dharamlall said much of the money will be spent on market upgrades.
“These markets have been a hodgepodge (confused mixture or mess).
“We have decided as a government to enhance the quality of services at the markets (and) we have consistently been upgrading these markets in different phases,” Dharamlall told the Committee.
Specifically, he said the eastern wing of the Mon Repos market, East Coast Demerara (ECD), will be soon completed. Construction on this market’s western floor is set to begin shortly.
Meanwhile, he promised that the Parika, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), market will be expanded.
In December, two contracts for the works at the Parika and Leonora markets were inked. Both contracts cost approximately $356.245 million and will enable vendors to ply their trade in a designated area, providing them with opportunities for enhanced trade.
In November, a $619 million contract was inked for the third phase of the Mon Repos market.