Regional officials urged to ensure budgeted works are completed

Contractors tasked with completing capital works within the various administrative regions were urged to complete them within the allotted timeframe as some 64% of the capital budget of $1.8 billion for 2009 has been expended thus far on works in the ten administrative regions across the country.

According to a release from the Government Information Agency (GINA), Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Kellawan Lall recently updated the regional executive officers of the various regions on money spent thus far on capital works during a meeting where various matters of concern, including reports on the progress of ongoing and capital works, Neighbourhood Democratic Councils’ subventions, road maintenance and other critical issues were discussed.

Lall noted that the objective is to complete capital projects within the allotted timeframe and as such, all contractors operating within the various regions who have been awarded contracts and who were paid mobilization fees, will see those fees being cancelled if they are unable to start the awarded projects at the end of September. According to GINA, each administrative region reported that all work programmes are expected to be completed before December 31.

According to the release, Permanent Secretary (PS) within the Local Government Ministry Sewchan said the ministry will be intensifying its monitoring and evaluation of each region through the presence of its engineers and he also reminded the REOs that they are the sole managers of their respective agencies, urging them to shoulder their responsibilities as administrators since leadership appears to be lacking. He told the officers that there is need for the rules which govern public servants to be enforced.

The PS said the ministry will prepare a format which will measure both the physical and financial aspects of the achievements which have been realized.

Hinterland Coordinator Harripersaud Nokta stated that each region has been given an increase in its budgetary allocation for each consecutive year and that there have been what he termed remarkable achievements in the development of infrastructure. Nokta also advised that the various programmes will continue to be implemented until the end of the year.

GINA stated that the current budget status of some $1.8 billion, which was allotted for 2009 shows that $1.18 billion has been expended and this figure represents 63.75% of total sum allocated. A further breakdown of this amount, the release stated, shows that Region One has an expenditure rate of 42.2%; Region Two, 80.2%; Region Three, 30.4%; Region Four 50.8%; Region Five,77.6%; Region Six, 78.5%; Region Seven, 75.2%; Region Eight, 78.3%; Region Nine, 44.9% and Region Ten, 70.1%.

The release also stated that the current budget status as of September 28 indicated that of the $14.3 billion which was allocated for 2009, $9.86 billion has been expended and this figure represents some 68.7%. The release also stated that that the figures, when analyzed for each region, vary between 64% and 73.7%.

The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development’s capital budget status stands at 41.6%, while its current budget stands at 60.7%, the release noted.

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