PM: Surpluses Allow Capital Projects to Proceed Without Borrowing

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris delivering feature remarks at the official ceremony held to open the Wash Ghaut Bridge.
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Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris reiterated Saturday during remarks at the opening ceremony of the newly constructed Wash Ghaut Bridge, and a section of the Island Main Road in Cunningham, Cayon, that the government’s fiscal prudence has resulted in surpluses, therefore has not needed to borrow to execute a number of capital projects in the country.

“By and large, all you see happening here we are not borrowing for it -— understand that,” the prime minister said of the Island Main Road Rehabilitation Project, which is slated to cost a total of $71 million, adding “Government cash is being put to work for the development of the country. We are building a multi-purpose community centre at Lodge Project/Ottley’s — we are not borrowing for it. We are building a new health centre at St. Peter’s — we are not borrowing for it. We built the terminal down at the Bayfront — we did not borrow for it. We built the East Bus Terminal — we did not borrow for it.

“We are building the West Bus Terminal — we are not borrowing for it, because we are managing the resources well. We have surplus, and the surplus now is coming for you,” he said. “So, you have good things happening, but you have to be careful. You have to be careful, and sometimes we have to remember that things can change, sometimes just for a moment you take your eyes off the road — an accident. So, you always have to be so careful, and take nothing for granted, and I am appealing to you not to take what you have in the Team Unity Government for granted.”

Minister of Public Infrastructure, the Hon. Ian Patches Liburd, revealed that of the $71 million being spent on the Island Main Road Rehabilitation Project, $25 million will go towards paying local contractors who have been given opportunity by government to showcase their skills.

“These are the faces of people you and I know — these are the contractors that have come out of our communities,” said Prime Minister Harris. “These are our sons with their talents, with their experience, just waiting for an opportunity to prove themselves and your Team Unity is giving them that opportunity to prove themselves time and time again. And when they come forward, they bring with them workmen whom you know, your friend, your cousin, your neighbour, to be part of the progress that is taking place in this country.

“What we are doing here, in terms of our operation is an international best practice,” he said. “Nowhere else you have the kind of strict application in terms of tendering process and the opening up of it for all and sundry to put in a bid — and when you put in a bid, the best person will come forward.”

The prime minister also spoke to the transparency of the process of opening the tenders for the Island Main Road Rehabilitation Project, citing the media had been invited to witness how the exercise was going to happen.

“It was transparent, open, accountable — good governance at its best, never before had it happened this way,” he said.

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