More money for poverty programmes
Stabroek News
March 30, 2004

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Mothers-to-be, nursery school children, Amerindian communities and the elderly all stand to benefit from increased budgetary allocations to poverty programmes as part of the 2004 budget.

In parliament yesterday, Finance Minister Saisnarine Kowlessar also announced that under the SIMAP III programme, over $980 million has been provided to finance community development, education, health, and drainage and irrigation projects. The budget for the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) V programme is $385 million, which is to be used for rehabilitation of roads; construction and/or extension of schools, the Lethem Hospital, and health centres; and the laying of pipelines and fittings in selected areas. Roughly $370 million will also be spent under the PRCSSP and LEAP is programmed to spend $450 million.

Meanwhile, Kowlessar reported that $1.1B has been budgeted for Old Age Pension and Social Assistance Programmes, which will be administered by the Human Services and Social Security Ministry. It is projected that 50,000 persons will benefit from these programmes in 2004.

He also said that the ministry would be doing an analysis to profile the needs of people affected by sector restructuring. This is expected to help develop new safety net options, including innovative severance packages and re-training for new and emerging job opportunities.