Regional Chairmen and Vice Chairmen, along with Clerks and Overseers of Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) will soon receive increased wages and salaries. This follows a proposal made at the recent National Conference of Local Democratic Organs (NCLDO).
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan said the Cabinet has approved recommendations from the conference. These include supporting increased salaries and stipend for leaders of municipalities, NDC’s and the Clerks and overseers of those councils. There has also been a recent upgrade of salaries for Regional Chairmen and Vice Chairpersons.
“We are taking seriously these pledges and commitment we have given to working towards the restoration of effectiveness within councils and to ensure that capacity building and human resource challenges receive due support of central Government,” Minister Bulkan said last Friday.
According to him, one of the major handicaps of councils is the lack of financial resources; and the collection of rates and taxes as one of the principal revenue sources available to councils has been degraded.
“It has not been an effective tool used by Councils over the years, “Minister Bulkan said.
Meanwhile, the government has awarded a $330M contract to Canadian company Municipal Property Assessment of Ontario to provide technical support to the Government Valuation Office here in Guyana. That project, which will last for some 18 months, will allow for inventory of properties and valuation and revaluation of properties countrywide.
“That information will be provided to all LGO’s that will provide real time data that will assist them in making informed decisions,” Minister Bulkan said.
According to him, Central Government will not dictate to the Councils what level of taxations or rates should be applied. Those decisions will be made by individual councils.
“We are committed to working with our councils to ensure their financial sustainability that will allow for them to operate in an independent manner and not be subject to the control of the Central Government.”
Image: Jameel Mohammed.