More money for power supply, disaster preparedness in Prime Minister’s $111B budget
The $111 billion budget for the Office of the Prime Minister was approved Tuesday night without changes and this is expected to help the government increase power supply to people and boost local disaster preparedness.
The lion’s share of the Prime Minister’s budgetary allocation- $80 billion- was for the capital spending for the gas-to-energy project developing at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD).
This highly-anticipated project should be operational by the end of 2025. It is expected to reduce the cost of electricity locally by 50%.
The allocation for this project forms part of the wider $91 billion set aside for power generation, one of the four portfolios that fall under the purview of the Prime Minister’s office.
The spending on power generation also includes allocations for small solar energy and hydropower projects specifically in rural and hinterland areas.
Altogether, Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips said the government hopes to supply reliable electricity to all Guyanese.
“We are addressing the gaps… every day the picture is getting clearer and we are making the necessary interventions,” the Prime Minister said in response to questions posed by Opposition Parliamentarian David Patterson about increasing local access to reliable electricity.
The Prime Minister also has oversight for disaster preparedness, response and management; telecommunications and innovations; and government information and communication services.
Funding for disaster preparedness was the subject of much scrutiny with the Prime Minister quizzed at length about the investments there.
In his responses, he noted that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) is getting a $150 million allocation to advance its work programme. Included in that sum are funds for the continued construction of a storage bond.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat got its $562 million allocation approved too.