Harmon accuses government of mismanagement as it seeks $23 Billion in supplementary budget

Harmon accuses government of mismanagement as it seeks $23 Billion in supplementary budget

Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon on Monday accused the Government of mismanaging the public coffers and the country’s economy.

In a statement the Opposition Leader said a mere 3 and 1/2 months after the $383Billion 2021 Budget was approved in the National Assembly the government has returned with two financial papers seeking an additional $23 Billion dollars.

“It has been revealed that mere weeks after Budget 2021 was approved the PPP secretly swiped almost $2Billion from the Contingency Fund. These monies have already been expended without any oversight or accountability by the National Assembly which the PPP is now seeking approval for after the fact,” the Opposition Leader said in a statement.

To put the issue into perspective, the Opposition Leader said $2B has already been unaccounted for and with that, the Government now wants an additional $21B, a total of $23B just months after the country’s largest budget was passed.

The Constitution and Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMAA) provides that for the use of the Contingency Fund, the Minister of Finance must be satisfied that the expenditure is “Urgent, Unavoidable and Unforeseen” and no other provision exists.

The Opposition Leader said while bringing relief to flood affected citizens is urgent, the other proposed sums are not urgent.

“The PPP is seeking funding to purchase motorbikes, a marine vessel, upgrade grounds and to fix roads. None of these can be considered emergency or unforeseen. Sums have already been approved in Budget 2021 for the purchase of motorcycles, for land and water transport, for road maintenance and upgrades to grounds.

Why this sudden $618million request to purchase an offshore patrol vessel for the Guyana Defence Force? Why was this not budgeted in the 2021 Budget? Why is it necessary now? Clearly these expeditions cannot be unforeseen and urgent,” The Opposition Leader questioned.

The Opposition said the government has so far refused to use the oil revenue because it requires a high degree of public transparency and accountability.

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