The National Assembly this morning began its consideration of the 2017 estimates and expenditures, by examining and endorsing, the programmes budgeted for the Ministry of the Presidency.
A sum total of $6.004 Billion was approved by the House, as the 2017 spending for the Ministry. The monies covered the following programmes:
Policy Development and Administration (including providing strategic direction for national development)-$2.791 Billion
Defence and National Security (to support state’s sovereignty and territorial integrity)-$346.597 Million
Public Service Management (through the provision of professional personnel, training and consultancy service)-$1.245 Billion
Citizenship and Immigration Service (including strategies to cover births, deaths and marriages; issuance of work permits; granting of citizenship)-$625.226 Million
Social Cohesion (to support programmes that seeks to foster social integration and improvements in socio-economic, cultural and spiritual wellbeing)-$90.129 Million
Environmental Management and Compliances (including programmes to spearhead the preservation of the natural environment)-$905.870 Million
Vehicles for visiting Heads of State, dignitaries
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon defends the Budgetary Estimates and Expenditure for the Ministry of the Presidency, Policy Development & Administration, Defence and National Security, Public Service Management and Environmental Management and Compliance programmes .
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon who defended the allocations to four of the Ministry’s programmes explained, when questioned by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Juan Edghill, that an allocation of $22 Million will be spent to procure four cars and one land cruiser. Harmon explained that the vehicles will be added to the fleet under the Ministry. He said that they will replace those that had to be taken out of service, due to their state of disrepair.
Further, the Minister explained that these five new vehicles will be used to convey visiting Head of States and Dignitaries, on their business around the country.
Minister Harmon explained that the acquisition of the vehicles will assure the state of a fleet of readily available and maintained transport for the visiting dignitaries, and as well, ensure that the state does not have to go through the unfortunate situation of renting vehicles to convey the dignitaries when they visit.
The fleet of vehicles servicing the Ministry is exactly 142, some of which were taken out of service. He explained that these disused vehicles
Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally rises to expound on Social Cohesion’s 2017 budgetary allocations.
would in time be sold, Minister Harmon explained.
The Minister also explained that a provision of $20Million caters for the establishment of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission.
Minister Harmon, following inquiry from Opposition Member of Parliament and Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira as to why the allocation for a commission that is yet to be established, explained that the President intents to sign into law the Commission Bill as soon as early January 2017. He further explained that the allocations provided in the Budget will cater for how best to activate those mechanisms, listed under the Commission Bill.
Meanwhile the $50M budgeted for the establishment of two new passport offices was approved.