Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 August 2015, 2:42 by GxMedia
The coalition government appears set to fight the scourge of drug trafficking aggressively if the more than doubling of its allocation of funds to the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) is anything to go by.
The Estimates for the 2015 National Budget show that allocations for the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) are spread out under the Home Affairs Ministry and the Public Security Ministry. Under the Homes Affairs Ministry heading, CANU is allocated $66,225,000 for current and capital expenditure, while the allocation under the Public Service Ministry is $100,074,000.
The total allocation for 2015 is thus $166,299,000, which is higher than the 2014 allocation of $72,982.
This representation in the Estimates is likely the result of the name and portfolio change effected to the name change effected by President David Granger to the former Ministry of Home Affairs. As several transactions were already executed under the name of the former ministry, the Estimates had to reflect the particulars as they were.
The allocations seen under the Ministry of Public Security, however, came after the name and portfolio change was effected.
The total budgetary allocation for the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for 2015 is $8,533,201,000, up from the 2014 amount of $7,447,032,000 in 2014.
This is according to the 2015 Budgetary Estimates, in which the stated amount is actually split between an amount allocated under the Ministry of Home Affairs ($5,554,071,000), and another sum allocated under the Ministry of Public Security ($2,979,130,000).
Under the Home Affairs Ministry’s capital budget, $29,290,000 was allocated for the implementation of a project aimed at improving security through the acquisition of arms, ammunition and respirators. This duration of this project is slated to end at the end of August, having commenced in January. Under the Public Security Ministry heading, there is a $193,000,000 allocation for the GPF to be used for purchasing “vehicles, trucks, motorcycles, outboard engines, bicycles and boats” toward improving security. The government has also proposed $1, 25,710,000 toward purchasing arms and ammunition, as well as equipment relating to fingerprinting, ballistic tests, photography, handwriting, communication, narcotics, and traffic matters.
Presenting highlights of the 2015 Estimates in the National Assembly on Monday, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said that “the Government is fine-tuning a comprehensive Public Security Plan, in which emphasis is to be placed on combating crime; regaining the trust of the police force; improving police investigative capabilities by rebuilding an efficient and effective criminal intelligence system and the Criminal Investigative Department” and counteracting human, drugs and arms trafficking.”
He also said the plan includes the acquisition of vehicles and other equipment for modern policing to fight banditry, piracy, terrorism and other violent crimes.