Govt seeks $47B in supplementary funding, to absorb Linden, other electricity costs

…$1B for GuySuCo’s operational expenses

The Guyana Government is seeking approval from the National Assembly for a whopping $47 billion in supplementary funding to finance the cost being footed by the state to absorb the increase in electricity rates as well as to do urgent infrastructural projects such as drainage works.
Senior Minister with Responsibility for Finance Dr Ashni Singh tabled Financial Papers Two and Three of 2022, totalling $47.3 billion, in the National Assembly on Wednesday to address a number of urgent interventions across several key sectors including Energy, Agriculture, Infrastructure and Amerindian Affairs.
The first Financial Paper is for $2.9 billion and caters for Contingency Fund advances covering the period August 15 to November 29, 2022. It provides for a number of interventions, including provision of additional resources to support the Linden Electricity Company and provision of additional resources to conduct urgent drainage works including rehabilitation of drainage channels, access bridges, revetments and dams along with the installation of stainless-steel sluice doors in Regions Two to Seven including Georgetown.
Meanwhile, for the second Financial Paper, another $44.4 billion is being sought and this includes supplementary funding of almost $1.4 billion under the Office of the Prime Minister for provision of additional resources to support electricity companies in Linden, Lethem, Mabaruma, Kwakwani, Port Kaituma, Mahdia, and Matthew’s Ridge.
Additionally, $6.6 billion is being sought for the provision of additional resources for the payment of electricity arrears to the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL). Back in March, President Dr Irfaan had announced that Government would be absorbing the impact of rising fuel prices on cost of services provided by electricity companies to ensure that it does not translate into high electricity bills for the Guyanese people.
Further, the National Assembly’s approval is also being sought for another $1 billion for the provision of additional resources for operational expenses to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). This is in addition to the billions of dollars already injected into the sugar corporation by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration to revitalise the company and bring it to a state of financial viability.
There is also a request for $2 billion for the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA).
Moreover, $18.2 billion is also being sought under the Public Works Ministry for the provision of additional resources to facilitate the upgrading of roads and drains in various communities, $938.2 million for the provision of additional inflows under the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB’s) programme to facilitate advancement of civil works on the Linden to Mabura Road Project, $275.9 million for the provision of additional resources to facilitate completion of water supply interventions in hinterland areas and the procurement of a new drilling rig, and another $371.1 million for the provision of additional resources to procure vehicles to boost the operational effectiveness of the Guyana Police Force under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
These two financial papers will be considered by the National Assembly at the next sitting on December 5.
Only back in July, government got parliamentary approval for $44.794 billion in supplementary funding for a number of programmes including support to hinterland communities and several infrastructural works across the country.
Those funds were for various ministries and other state agencies including $3.116 billion to “support Amerindian and Hinterland Communities.”
Another $1.296 billion was for new infrastructural development initiatives and to support regional economic transformation programmes; $1.908 billion for the Black Belly Sheep Project and another $300 million to support fisherfolks, and $1.4 billion to support the Sugar Industry – all capital estimates.
On the current side, another $2 billion for operational expenses of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) was approved
Another $4.439 billion went to rehabilitative works on 28 pontoons of the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB), for the acquisition of spares and the completion of rehabilitation of ferry vessels, and for upgrading of roads and drains in several communities for which some $3 billion requested.
Some $525 million was also approved ought to facilitate the advancement of preliminary works to support the East Coast-East Bank Road Linkage project.
In addition, funds to the tune of $21 billion went to the Housing and Water Ministry was requested and of that amount, $15.9 billion is to facilitate infrastructural works in new and existing housing areas, as well as to promote the housing programme. (G8)