Budgets for most municipalities and councils up to speed

– Kwakwani, Linden and Georgetown lagging, Persaud says

Almost all of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC) and most of the municipalities have submitted their 2013 budgets Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Ganga Persaud told the media at a press conference on Friday.

The minister said Kwakwani is the only one of the 65 NDCs that has not yet submitted a budget. And of the six municipalities, the ministry has received full submissions from four and partial submissions from Georgetown and Linden.

These proposals has been evaluated and analyzed and the ministry is in the process of communicating with the authorities in those regions, the decisions with regard to the submissions made, Persaud told reporters.

“…All ten regional administrations are in the process of developing their bills of quantities and designs for their respective capital proposals submitted in budget 2013. All this is in preparation for whenever the budget is approved that we can move right into advertisements requesting bids for these various construction works. If we don’t operate in this manner we would end up having that long list of rollovers,” the minister stated.

He also said that they are doing baseline work in anticipation of the budget and have started to engage contractors in Regions 5 and 6.

When asked to shed some light on last Wednesday’s recent meeting of the Special Select Committee on Local Government, the minister said “the local government select committee meeting was to adopt the minutes of the two previous meetings and focus on the methodologies and procedures that will be adopted in dealing with the four bills that are at the level of the committee.”

He added that outside of the rubric, committee members gave their commitment to working assiduously to deal with the four bills; getting them out of the committee to Parliament so the local government process can move along.

Passage of these four bills is critical to holding long-stalled local government elections.
Chairman of the committee, APNU MP Basil Williams had said that the meeting went quite smoothly and would continue next Wednesday, where it is likely the Local Government Commission Bill would be addressed.

Also to be examined are the Fiscal Transfers Bill, the Local Government (Amendment) Bill and the Municipal and District Council’s (Amendment) Bill.

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