Government has made significant investment in the 2017 Budget to support regional administration and development, thus Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan has issued a call, for the regional officials to meet the deliverables of their respective work programmes.
Accompanied by Minister within the Ministry, Valerie Adams-Patterson, the Communities Minister Bulkan spoke with regional officials in the Committee Room in Parliament recently.
Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan accompanied by Minister within the Ministry Valerie Adams-Patterson, speaking with regional officials in the Committee Room in Parliament
Pointing to the challenges confronted in the implementation and execution of the 2016 budgetary allocations, Bulkan said, “it is our fervent hope, that we would have learnt from those lessons as to what would have been the issues and factors that would have presented the full execution of those programmes, but now given that the budget would have been approved, prior to the start of the fiscal year, it means that we have a full 12 months to be able to guarantee, a smooth efficient and complete execution of all our projects.”
Minister Bulkan also highlighted the need for the regional officials to work together to ensure the completion of the regions’ work programme. The Minister said that, “there needs to be a harmonious, and not an adversarial relationship between the two elements of our councils; namely, the political element and administrative element.”
The Minister told the elected officials that, “It is not the desire of this administration to have a situation where the administrative component of our council is given prominence at the expense of the political element of the councils, which is the real authority.” He said, “These are democratically elected institutions and councils and we are committed to respecting the democratic will of the people and to allow for the exercise of the authority where it properly resides.”
Minister Adams-Patterson, adding to the discussion, noted that tantamount to Government delivering on its mandate to the people, is the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) delivering on their mandate to their respective regions.
Minister Adams-Patterson, who also stressed collaboration with the councils said, “We are aware that our councils are made up of several political parties, but the bigger picture here is the people whom we serve.…If we are to, effectively and efficiently serve the people, it means that there must be a working together of all the political parties,” Minister Adams-Patterson told the regional officials.
“This nation is at a point where we need to move forward, and therefore we have to put our political differences aside and consider the people who have elected us to serve them. We serve without discrimination,” Minister Adams-Patterson pointed out.
The 2017 allocation to the regions has gone up some $2 Billion, from the, $33.5 Billion that was provided in 2016.