Mr Speaker, I rise to move the motion for approval of the Estimates of the Public Sector and the Budget for the financial year 1996. In so doing, I wish to indicate that in concurrence with A1ticle 171, paragraph 2 of the Constitution, the Cabinet has recommended that the National Assembly proceed upon this motion.
Mr Speaker, we are all aware of the tremendous potential of our nation. In this Visit Guyana Year, many people from around the world will come to see for themselves the human and physical richness with which our wonderful land and people have been blessed. At the same time, the country is faced with many challenges – reducing poverty, developing human resoµrces, growing with equity, rebuilding the infrastructure, overcoming the debt burden, protecting the environment, and managing our resources better. Overcoming these will take a· concerted and ongoing effort. Our Government has made great strides in rebuilding the country and has restored our people’s confidence in a bright future.
Mr Speaker, we are acutely aware that the transition we are going through is difficult. In recent decades, our people have endured much hardship. Their impatience for a rapid improvement in their living standards is very understandable. We have worked, and will continue to work, tirelessly to meet the aspirations of our citizens so that each and every Guyanese can fulfill his or her potential. At the same time, we should recognise that these problems cannot be solved overnight. While the Government continues to campaign vigorously for comprehensive debt relief, the harsh reality is that the national debt will continue to serve as a binding constraint on our social and economic development.