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Guyana to present estimates of revenue and expenditure, January 26

By Caribbean News Global contributor

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Senior finance minister in the office of the president with responsibility for finance, Dr Ashni K. Singh will present the estimates of revenue and expenditure (budget) 2022 on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.

“This follows several months of meeting and consulting with various stakeholders including government ministries, private sector and other agencies,” said the Minister of Finance (MOF) in a statement on January 21. “This budget is expected to comprise a number of critical developmental programmes and projects which will catapult government’s agenda and take the country forward. It will also be a continuation of the fast-paced development path which served to be of benefit to citizens all across the country since the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) entered office on August 2, 2020.”

The 2022 budget is the third budget presented by the PPP/C administration and the second for Dr Singh who has been serving as senior minister in the office of the president with responsibility for finance from November 2020 to present.

“The first budget was an emergency budget presented in August 2020. This saw the immediate reversal of a number of punitive taxes instituted by the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) government among other significant measures while last year’s budget comprised several developmental projects in a number of sectors,” MOF added.

“The 2021 budget presented in February 2021 under the theme ‘A Path to Recovery, Economic Dynamism, and Resilience’ included funding for the construction of various housing schemes and expansion of existing ones, investment in the revitalization of the country’s sugar industry, programmes in partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders for investment in the tourism and hospitality sector, the construction of a number of new roads and other infrastructure as well as a number of cash grants to citizens that assisted them after the destruction of crops and livestock during the devastating flood of June 2021, a seven percent increase to the public sector and cash grants throughout the year which allowed for the stimulation of the economy,” MOF added.

“Additionally, the 2021 budget provided for large injections into the health sector and assistance to frontline health sector workers (vaccines and other health supplies) as the country continued to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The developmental programmes included in the budgets, all in all, represent the fulfilment of promises made by the PPP/C administration in its 2020 manifesto. The government has indicated its intention to ensure that it fulfils every promise made to the citizens of Guyana and for which it was elected to office,”reads the MOF statement.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Conversely, vice president Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during an interview with the National Communications Network (NCN) on Friday, emphasised that the framework of the budget mirrors the commitment made in the PPP/C’s manifesto to provide a better life for all Guyanese.

“New highways, roads, investing on power grids, on ICT, the same things that make our businesses more competitive so we can generate more jobs and more diverse jobs in agriculture, in ICT and other areas, not just oil and gas,” said Dr Jagdeo.

The recently passed Local Content Law will be enforced so that Guyanese will be able to benefit from jobs by way of “tax reductions, making the business process easier for people and of course implementing the Local Content Law, which will bring big benefits to Guyanese. You see some countries now trying to muscle in on our opportunities, we are not going to allow that to happen.”

Moreover, a major focus will also be placed on welfare-enhancing areas, including education and health care. And measures to alleviate the rising cost of living, “we will have to work with communities during the course of the year to see how we can mitigate some of it,” said vice president Dr Jagdeo.

The 2022 budget will be financed partly by Guyana’s oil revenues, Dr Jagdeo, advised:

“This will be Guyana’s first withdrawal from the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) since Guyana started collecting oil revenues in early 2020. “The fiscal deficit this year, in this budget, would be lower than the fiscal deficit in last year. From a financing perspective, that means we’d have to borrow less because some of the oil and gas revenue will go to replace the high level of borrowing that we have had.”

Reportedly, US$607 million sitting in the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The government is expected to access Guyana’s own resources to partly finance budget 2022, and easy the cycle of debt unsustainably.

– With a file for DPI

Guyana’s oil money not tied up in any deals



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