WITH just weeks to go before the start of the new financial year, the Siparia Regional Corporation (SRC) is hoping that it receives some much-needed funds to complete projects in the region.
Chairman of the (SRC) Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh has estimated there are some incomplete projects amounting to $4.520 million, and he is calling on the government to approve the funding immediately.
Speaking to the media at the corporation’s offices at High Street, Siparia, on Friday, Ramadharsingh said the absence of a permanent secretary at the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government, for the past two weeks, has stalled projects in the community.
“This ministry is operating without an accounting officer. The nature of the public service is that if an accounting officer is not present, authorisation is not possible. Documents have not been attended to in the last two weeks. Work is not taking place the way it should,” Ramadharsingh said.
He said the permanent secretary at the ministry was on leave, and there was no replacement in place.
“We are not getting releases from the ministry on time. We are calling on the minister (Kazim Hosein) to go to the Prime Minister for him to get an accounting officer who can run the business of the ministry,” Ramadharsingh said.
He said the minister was “very accessible and willing” to assist at the policy level, but in the absence of a permanent secretary, nothing else can be done.
“This is an important ministry. This is the Ministry of Rural Development. This is the ministry that touches the small man. The is poor man’s ministry. and we need a Permanent Secretary right away.”
He said the money he hoped the SRC receives will be for the benefit of the burgesses, and said he hoped the delay in authorising money for the corporation was not a strategy by the gvoernment to keep the unspent balances.
Among the projects for which the SRC is awaiting approval are road rehabilitation work, building a replica of an oil well, the Cedros boardwalk and the Siparia Cultural Centre.