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Opposition votes down new budget provisions

The Government could not convince the opposition in the National Assembly today to get back all of that money the opposition had cut from the national budget. However, the opposition did replace the 1 billion dollars that it had cut from the Guyana Power and Light company. Added to that, the opposition gave its approval for the supplementary budget that allowed the increase in the old age pension, giving the all clear for the pension to be 10,000 dollars as was agreed in the national budget.

But The office of the president will have to continue to deal with the budget cuts which have affected salaries for some of the staff there and contract employees. The opposition also voted against supplementary provisions for GECOM, the ERC, the state planning secretariat and the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit.

But the highlight appeared to have been government’s move to get money back for the Government information agency (GINA) and the state owned National Communications Network (NCN). The opposition at first asked the government to provide details of the recent probe at NCN which resulted in the firing of the CEO Fuzzy Sattaur and the suspension of Programme Manager Martin Goolsarran. The government tried to dodge those questions.

At the end of it, the opposition used their majority and voted No for the supplementary provisions for NCN and GINA with AFC member Moses Nagamootoo making clear his view on the way the government was treating the issue.

The Opposition had earlier made clear its position on those two entities which they believe are not providing real service to all the people of Guyana but rather acting as propaganda machinery.

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