Budget slashed for airport expansion

Budget slashed for airport expansion

The Government is fuming after the Opposition parties in Parliament used their majority again and slashed more allocations in the National Budget. This time the opposition’s scissors moved through the budget for the works ministry and the move could affect the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan international airport and a number of other projects.

The opposition had some issues with some of the conditions set out by a Chinese bank for the project. They said they stand by their decision although it could affect other projects.

The Opposition parties were only going to cut the money for the airport expansion project but said they were forced to cut the entire  budget for other expansion works unrelated to the airport because they all fell under the same heading. The Government members in the Assembly said the Opposition should be ashamed of their position especially after they had supported the project last year.

Alliance For Change Member of Parliament Moses Nagamootoo told the Assembly late Tuesday night that back in 2012, everything about the project was not made clear to the opposition and the government was not forthright in the dealings surrounding the project.

The Opposition are pushing for other changes to be made with regard to the airport project before any approval could come from the  house. Over $5 Billion was being sought for the airport expansion project.

Government officials said the move by the opposition was unpatriotic and anti development.  During the discussion on the issue before the cuts were made, Works Minister Robeson Benn said he and his ministry were now willing to provide any and all information about the project to the National Assembly.

The Opposition has been expressing concern over the way the Government went about the agreement for the expansion project. The National Assembly only learnt of the expansion project after the deal was already inked with a Chinese construction company and reports of the expansion first surfaced in the Jamaican media.

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