Ministers Ashni Singh, Oneidge Walrond sworn in as MPs
Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh was on Wednesday morning sworn in as a Member of Parliament (MP).
That was his first appearance in the 12th Parliament since his appointment on November 5, 2020.
Dr Singh was sworn in as Minister by President Dr Irfaan Ali. He had served as Finance Minister under the previous People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration.
The Finance Minister is currently gearing up to present the first full-year National Budget of the Ali-led Government in the first quarter of 2020.
In a statement on Wednesday, Dr Singh posited that Budget 2021 would outline Government’s medium and long-term priorities including its vision for the country over its five-year term.
“The manifesto outlines a lot of our major initiatives and big projects that will be our main departure points. In addition, we are hoping also to try to streamline the Budget so that the expenditure that we incur is more efficient as well. We’ve highlighted the fact that our predecessors in office were a lot more extravagant in spending in certain areas and we are hoping to streamline some of that spending, not necessarily eliminate it, but to channel it into more productive areas… that will contribute in a more meaningful and direct way to both stimulating growth in the economy and improving people’s lives,” Minister Singh elaborated.
Meanwhile, Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Oneidge Walrond was also re-sworn in as a Government MP at Wednesday’s sitting of the National Assembly.
This was after acting Chief Justice Roxane George earlier this month declared that Walrond’s previous appointment in August was unlawful and she was not a lawful member of the 12th Parliament of Guyana owing to her dual citizenship status.
Attorney General Anil Nandlall had conceded that Government recognised that Minister Walrond’s appointment may have collided with the Constitution as she was still a citizen of the USA at the time she was sworn in as Minister and parliamentarian in August.
Nonetheless, Nandlall had disclosed that the Government has already taken steps to have this constitutional breach rectified by having Walrond re-sworn in as Minister on December 1, 2020. (G8)