SEE STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE REGION THREE PRIVATE SECTOR ON BUDGET 2023:
Under the theme “Improving lives for today building prosperity for tomorrow” the current Government unveiled a host of well thought out measures to aggressively transform the country as has fulfilled its Budget 2022 theme of standing “Steadfast Against All Challenges, Resolute in Building Our One Guyana”.
With notably no new taxes, government passed an historic $781.9 billion budget for 2023 and based on the breakdown from top to bottom will be befitting as Guyana aims at a new paradigm.
One of the major projects that will benefit all in Guyana and is especially being monitored with anticipation by the Region Three Private Sector Inc. (R3PSInc) will be the Wales Gas-to-Energy project, and this will advance as the government budgeted $43.4 billion to facilitate construction of the power plant and associated facilities as one of Guyana’s most transformational projects.
This project is the single largest investment made in Guyana’s electricity sector and promises to slash local energy costs in half once the project is on-stream. Overall, the project is pegged at more than US$1 billion.
The environmentally-unfriendly fossil fuels will be converted to more renewable energy sources as government aims to also issue a Request for Proposals for the restart of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) while other hydropower projects will be pursued.
Further, the $1.8 billion budgeted specifically for hinterland projects will see some 30,000 households in hinterland and riverain areas get solar PV lighting systems.
Cheaper power will be an important pillar of development in Guyana as is the transformation of communities and roadways with $136.1 billion being allocated in the 2023 budget to enhance roads and bridge networks across the country.
Another project dear to the R3PSInc is the preparatory works for the construction of the New Demerara River Bridge, the first high span, four-lane permanent hybrid concrete and cable-stayed structure. To support this the government has allocated $5.2 billion to ensure an aggressive work programme, something which is highly commendable.
A healthy nation is a wealthy nation, and Guyana’s health sector allocation of $84.9 billion directed towards the creation of hospitals and training healthcare professionals must be seen as increased and expanding access to critical and specialised health care services, including maternal and children’s care.
In 2023, the R3PSInc forecasts a vast transformation of infrastructure in the public healthcare system as $13.2 billion will be spent on advancing infrastructure works at the forthcoming paediatric and maternal hospital, and six new regional hospitals at Lima, De Kindred, Diamond, Enmore, Bath and the No. 75 village.
Importantly, over $500 million is allocated for the training for healthcare professionals. This comes as the government hopes to deploy more professionals to underserved communities, as $900 million is allocated to fighting non-communicable diseases and issues be it cancer or mental illness.
Additionally, in a bid to deliver on its promise of creating a conducive environment for private sector investment, the government has set aside $584.2 million for the Small Business Bureau and the Small Business Development Fund.
The education sector which will groom the next generation received a massive $94.4 billion allocation in the 2023 National Budget which will also cater for accommodation for fire-affected students, feeding school children and purchasing textbooks.
Beyond this, what is exceptional is that some $2.1 billion has been allocated for the continued rollout of the school feeding programme. This means that juice, biscuits, breakfast and in some cases, hot meals will be provided to children.
Importantly, a new “Home-Grown School Feeding programme” will be introduced to allow communities to provide fresh vegetables and milk among other food products to schools.
Youths will have more options now as government is investing $4.3 billion for sport and provision has been set aside for the establishment of a National Cricket Academy, while the construction of the state-of-the-art stadium at Palmyra, Berbice, is also slated for this year.
Funds will also advance the construction of multipurpose sporting facilities in the hinterland; rehabilitation works at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall; construction of stands and grass mounds in Regions Two and Six; extension of the Squash court at the National Racquet Centre, and the procurement of sports gear.
This will be enhance with the sum of $250 million is budgeted for the continued improvement of community grounds across the country. Notably, $54.5 billion will be provided for housing development in new and existing areas while $1.4 billion will further upgrade and extend water supply systems along with the construction of wells countrywide.