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Budget cuts for Indigenous Peoples and Child Rights Commissions

The Guyana government Thursday slashed huge chunks of monies from the proposed budgets of the Rights of the Child Commission and the Indigenous Peoples Commission for 2016.

The ROC asked government for GYD$84 million but in the end only ended up with GYD$31 million, prompting opposition Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) MP, Gillian Burton-Persaud to observe that the reduction has come at a time when children make up one of  the most “vulnerable and violated” groups.

Junior Public Infrastructure Minister, Annette Ferguson noted that the previous government had allocated GYD$26.3 million.  Reacting, former Minister of Education in the PPPC government, Priya Manickchand said the question of how much her government had allocated to the ROC was unnecessary. “This common question cannot be asked because this is the government that campaigned and said they would do it differently from the PPP and we did not have this law that you said would make them independent of the Commission. Stop making vacuous arguments!,” she said.

Responding to Manickchand’s question about whether the GYD$31 million would be sufficient to fund the ROC’s five year plan, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said the Treasury could not afford more at this time.

“I believe this amount can be start of the very five year plan and as we progress into our five year term more can be made available when is more available,” he said.

Funding for the Indigenous Peoples Commission (IPC) for 2016 was cut from the proposed GYD$66 million to GYD$23 million, despite several calls by the opposition to ensure that tha rights commission is properly funded.

The People’s Progressive Party Civic’s (PPP) parliamentarians including Alex Charlie, Yvonne Pearson,  Gail Teixeira and Nigel Dharamlall urged the coalition government not to cut the budget.

“The IPC has a mandate to investigate and treat with the rights of Amerindians,” said Dharamlall, a former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Amerindian Affairs.

PPPC back-bencher, Charles Ramson Jr. observed that government has allocated a sum of money to the IPC that is the same for the capital expenditure for the Prime Minister’s vehicle.

Teixeira queried whether the slash in financing for that rights commission was “part time with respect to Indigenous people in this country.”

No one from the  government side spoke on this request. While the amount was being put to the Committee of Supply,  Junior Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe was seen making unsuccessful attempts to gain the Speaker’s attention to seek permission to speak.

  • Ah Nanimus

    “PPPC back-bencher, Charles Ramson Jr. observed that government has
    allocated a sum of money to the IPC that is the same for the capital
    expenditure for the Prime Minister’s vehicle.”

    DON’T BLUSH BABY! IT’S TRUE!

    • The Viper

      Lmao

      • Ashwan Singh

        Me too ! LMAO !!!

  • weir

    The Indigenous people did not vote for APNU+AFC so it is revenge time.
    By the way,where did the largest foreign exchange earnings come from last year? It is the Indigenous people Communities is making the most foreign exchange earnings, so the Govt. need to spent more money in these communities and on these people.
    This is total exploitation and discrimination to the fullest on these people. Why is it that these communities are producing all the wealth;diamonds and gold that is earning all this foreign exchange and yet still very very little is spent in these communities and their people?
    More money need to be spent on achieving proper infrastructural and human development in these communities and not the little pittance given by the Government. There should be a Tax on the diamonds and gold that came out of these communities too go towards these purposes.
    The Min. of Indigenous People , Mr. Allicock needs to take this matter up in Parliament.

  • Emile_Mervin

    1. On the Rights of the Child Commission, let the records show that apart from the fact that the amount being allocated for 2016 (GY$31M) is still greater than the amount the PPP allocated in 2014 (GY$26.3M), the Guyana Times of December 3, 2013 reported the following: “Rights commission hamstrung by small budget,” in which the Rights of the Child Commission on Tuesday presented its 2011 annual report to the National Assembly, saying that it remained hamstrung by a lack of funds to carry out most of its programmes.” CLEARLY, THE PPP NEVER REALLY THOUGHT MUCH OF THE R.O.C BACK THEN!!!

    2. On the Indigenous Peoples Commission, I really do not know how much money was ever allocated to and accounted for by this commission in the past, but why does this commission need money when the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples receives money in the annual budget for indigenous peoples.
    In the 2014 Budget presented by Ashni Singh, the then APNU-AFC opposition voted down the proposed GY$1.1B for the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, citing a lack of transparency in the allocations of funds in the past. So why are we still having a ministry and a commission being funded separately for the same purpose of serving indigenous peoples?
    And how many indigenous peoples with real health needs were treated the same way then Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai used public funds for cosmetic dentistry?
    Look, I see no real problem if the IPC gets GY$23M for 2016 if the associated ministry will also be receiving monies in the 2016 budget.