Since assuming office in 2015, the APNU+AFC Government has been investing billions of dollars in the transformation of its public infrastructure across the country and the township of Bartica is no exception. In just four years the administration has pumped over $1.6 Billion more in Bartica than the previous government did in 20+ years.
This was revealed by Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma during a community engagement with the residents of Agatash and Dogg Point. Minister Sharma was accompanied by Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock during the community meeting at the Agatash Community Centre which formed part of the most recent government outreach, which was held in Bartica, Region 7, Cuyuni-Mazaruni on June 19.
The Minister explained that at levels of government – regional, central and local – millions of dollars were allocated through the National Budget for the construction of several roads, a school, a health centre, the new Bartica power plant, the waterfront. The township is also on its way of becoming Guyana’s first ‘green’ town as several green sustainable projects will be implemented including, a solar farm.
“I could remember in 2015, being in the Ministry of Finance and looking at some roads in Agatash, I could remember putting $15 Million for roads, I could remember in 2016, putting monies for schools and revetment. I can remember seeing monies for these projects. In Bartica you would have seen the development since this administration came into office,” Minister Sharma remarked.
He added, “I would have looked at the budget from 2014 and looking the capital expenditure aspect, that is money for roads, bridges, health centres and schools, it was only $275 Million and in just four years and five budgets under this APNU+AFC government. Capital alone for Bartica is $1.9 Billion. So, we have put about $1.6 Billion more into the economy of Bartica.”
Minister Sharma reminded that the 2019 National Budget was the largest ever at $300.7 Billion. This was increased by a further $6 Billion with the recent supplementary provision to several agencies.
“We increased the budget in four years to $80Billion and that money is spent throughout the length and breadth of Guyana. That money is going towards better infrastructure such as road and building construction; increased wages which you will spend in your community and that in turn will go back to the businesspeople in your community.”
In his remarks to those gathered, Minister Allicock told them that the administration under President David Granger’s leadership is committed to ensuring all Guyanese enjoy ‘a good life.’
“We believe in a Coalition and that is why we are in government. We believe that each Guyanese must be represented if they are to benefit from the good life and this is the vision of the President… I remember coming to Agatash some years ago and it took me almost an hour to get here, today I almost got lost because I couldn’t recognise the area it is a great improvement, easier access to the village with better roads…and this is what we are working towards.”
In Agatash, the government through the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, has invested $4 Million for green sustainable projects under the Presidential Grant programme. The money will be spent to upgrade the village’s multi-purpose centre and the sports ground, and to construct a community benab. Sports gear, sewing machines and uniform materials were also presented to villagers. Some $4Million was also invested in Dogg Point for a duck rearing and other community ventures.
Minister Allicock also said that 15 young people from each village were trained under the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) along with facilitators. These youths now manage well-established businesses in their respective village.
During the interactive session, the residents raised concerns regarding their bridges and a stretch of road in Dogg Point. Chairman of the Community Development Council (CDC), Mark Ambrose explained that the bridges will be repaired by the region and disclosed that works had also started on the road but was halted.
Minister Sharma committed to following up on these issues with the region and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
Images: Marceano Narine
Source:DPI, Guyana, Thursday, June 20, 2019