OP budget meeting fruitless – source

The meeting between government and the opposition at the Office of the President today yielded little else but justifications on the government’s part as to why it cannot accept the proposals by the opposition to prevent the budget cuts from going ahead. The two sides will meet again on Wednesday morning to continue the talks.

Speaking to the Stabroek News, one of the participants of the meeting said government did not accept any of the points the opposition made and instead offered reasons why it could not accept any of the conditions laid out in a letter that had been addressed to the president. “We left the meeting without any pluses,” the source said.

According to the source, the president asked the Alliance For Change whether there was any nexus between the demands made by the opposition in the letter and the proposed cuts to which the answer was no.

However, the government is said to have committed to providing by the end of this week status reports on expenditure of the amounts allocated to the Guyana Power and Light and Guyana Sugar Corporation in last year’s budget.

Stabroek News understands that in the light of the on-going talks, the AFC will be prepared to listen to the answers proffered by various ministers in the examination of the estimates in the Committee of Supply today and onwards before determining whether to go ahead with the cuts. “We are going to be rational. We are not going to do anything silly,” the source said, pointing out that the AFC gave the government a chance to provide explanation of the proposed expenditure.


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