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By Zena Henry For allocations to Drainage and Irrigation to be approved, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)’s Rupert Roopnaraine says a breakdown of the $7.1B spent last year should be provided for scrutiny before any more money goes to the sector.In his contribution to the 2013 budget debates in the National Assembly, Roopnaraine asserted that, “Such a breakdown will reveal to what extent past funding in the sector impacted on the development of drainage and irrigation.”He pointed to farmers being disrupted in areas of Hope/Dochfour where construction on the Northern Relief Channel Project (Hope Canal) is ongoing.“The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) under an EPA-approved management plan, should have ensured that D and I structures affected were replaced for continuous service,Cheap NBA Jerseys China, but, In fact very little has been done in this respect and farmers continue to suffer because of lack of irrigation.”  Roopnarine asked to whom the computerized model of the East Coast Demerara Water Conservancy was presented, as mentioned by the Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, and when were recommendations for improving water flows and drainage presented.The Finance Minister stated that in 2013, $6.5B was budgeted for final payments towards the completion of the Northern Relief Channel, and associated drainage structures as well as pumps and pump stations in four regions, but to that, Roopnaraine said the National Assembly needs to know how much was spent on the project so far and on what. He asked for the final cost of the project and ancillary works to make the project operational and when the project will be completed for flood waters to be discharged from the EDWC.Roopnaraine affirmed that the Hope Canal Project which entails a road bridge, a sluice etc. was pegged at US$20M, “but no one knows for sure what the final cost will be and that is perhaps why yearly supplements are being made to keep the project going.”Before relating to other matters such as the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and the mining sector, Roopnarine opined that it would be useful to look at fundamental principles relating to land-use policy and the management of natural resources with objectives of avoiding deforestation and degradation,Cheap NFL Authentic Jerseys, provision of ecosystem services, responsible exploitation of natural resources and to create and promote enterprise with low carbon footprints.“For such an integrated approach to land-use planning and the effective implementation of the law, carbon development strategy, an absolute prerequisite is transparent dialogue and ongoing discussions at all levels so that communities, regions, public and private sectors are informed and have their perspectives and expectations taken on board.”Additionally, Roopnaraine is of the belief that a Special Select Committee should be formed for meaningful dialogue on the evolution and implementation of the strategy.On the issue of mining,Wholesale NFL Jerseys China, the APNU MP stated that, “The unprecedented growth of the mining sector,Cheap Jerseys, led by the surge in gold production, brings with it new challenges.” He pointed to new mining areas to be explored, the development of a manganese mine, bauxite mining in Bonasika and advanced exploration of uranium in the Mazaruni.But to these new developments, Roopnaraine said he sees no evidence that the government is alert to the new challenges ahead and that the University of Guyana, Technical Institutes and Trade Schools would need resources to produce the skills for the new mines.He related that the development of a strategic plan for small and medium scale gold and diamond mining is required.“We should ensure titling of selected hinterland mining communities,NFL Jerseys China,” he stressed, since according to him, many interior settlements are still classified as “unorganized”.   He said there needs to be a review of the government policies allowing Amerindian lands to be extended to cover lands currently held by miners.  He also mentioned that the Women’s Miners Association is requesting from the government greater intervention into the work of the females, as well as highlighting the need for better amenities for women on a whole while in the interior areas.In relation to the usage of bauxite resources and reserves by Bosai and Rusal, Roopnaraine asked whether royalties and taxes were being paid on time and whether the entities are satisfying conditions of their respective licences.Also on the topic of agriculture and agricultural diversification,Cheap Jeseys NFL, the APNU member highlighted that the Mayor and City Council is still trying to install the basics at the city abattoir, while the Agriculture Minister spoke of advanced efforts on livestock advancement.Roopnaraine pointed out that meat is not being exported from Guyana and before this can be done, the country must first satisfy international standards for meat preservation and exportation.“The artificial insemination and embryo implant programme is a good initiative, but that alone would not leave the cattle industry out of the slump. Urgent consideration must be given to the establishment of communal pastures across the country if we are to rescue this ailing industry,” he concluded.
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