Harsh social and economic conditions (Pt 2)

first_imgDear Editor,In the Finance Minister’s 2016 Budget speech he admitted to “acts of dishonesty and duplicity, mismanagement of resources, opaqueness of transactions and a disregard for basic internal controls, among others… absence or non-existence of functioning Internal Audit Departments.The Audits identified many instances where the laws governing the entities and their operations were violated with impunity, in particular the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act and the Procurement Act”. Unfortunately, this horrendously sad state of affairs has permeated and eaten at each and every stratum of Government agencies and departments. It now appears as though there is a ‘license to steal’! The Auditor General’s Report 2017 has confirmed this and yet in the 2019 Budget Speech there is no material plan to ensure that the $300.7 billion will result in value for money for the masses which will now have to bear a huge tax burden of $199.5 billion, an increase of $28.3 billion more than 2017, an average increase of 23 per cent in withholding, excise, income and value-added taxes!It is now conclusive that Budget 2019 will not address the hordes of instances of mismanagement, allegedly fraudulent and corrupt transactions highlighted in the Auditor General’s Report as the national budgets continue to haemorrhage uncontrollably due to the lack of transparency and accountability. This Coalition Government wants us to believe that corruption no longer exists!In conclusion, Minister Jordan himself gave a vivid account of Guyanese expectations in his 2019 Budget speech. He stated that when “one contemplates the transformation of Guyana’s economy, one conjures up many images of our future. At a minimum, one thinks of every family being able to afford a healthy lifestyle, with all the basic needs of sustenance, shelter and education being met, and all this being achieved within sustainable communities, where environmental responsibility and personal safety are paramount. Together, these images combine to create a desirable collage, and that is just the beginning”. However, he failed to deliver this ‘desirable collage’ not only through his poor budgetary allocations but by his willful neglect to adequately address the deficiencies in the internal auditing and control systems to ensure that Guyanese can have value for money! The transparency and accountability mantra is now dead!Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRDC CouncillorRegion Sixlast_img read more