Budget 2021 to prepare local economy for massive job creation – Nandlall
With Guyana embarking on a massive infrastructural transformation, there will be a plethora of jobs available to Guyanese, not just from Government-funded projects, but many of the private sector-driven ventures.
This is according to Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, S.C during his recent programme, ‘Issues in the News’.
Nandlall posited that Government’s proposed 2021 National Budget seeks to lay the foundation and prepare the local economy to be conducive to job creation for Guyanese.
“You can’t have a policy in the Budget call ‘job creation’ and just create jobs in isolation. What a government has to do is to prepare the economy, prepare the country to make it conducive for jobs to be created, and that is what the Government is doing… We have specific programmes to target specific communities to attract investments to those communities to create jobs,” he noted.
This, the AG pointed out, is reflected in the huge volume of capital expenditure Government has injected into the economy.
“When the money is going to be spent, and when the Government execute capital projects, who will we employ in these projects? Is it not Guyanese that will be employed in these projects? How are these projects going to become reality? Where the construction materials will come from? Not from the stores in Guyana if they are available locally? And who supply the stores with locally-produced goods? Isn’t that how employment is created?” the Minister contended.
Moreover, Nandlall went on to outline that Government is fostering the creation of jobs through Private Sector partnerships.
“What the budget does not even mention is the tens of thousands of jobs that are going to be created because of the foundation laid by the Budget. So, you have all these hotels that are coming to be built – one by the seawall, one by the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, one by the Ogle Airport; and then you have that road that is going open the highway between Ogle and Eccles. With the lands that will be open up there, don’t you think jobs are going to be created by these projects, almost all of which are going to be private sector-driven projects?” the AG asserted.
In fact, he noted that already there are many local and foreign investors that are preparing to capitalise on the infrastructural transformation projects by setting up critical ventures such as ready-mix cement plants.
“You think these plants are decorative? These businessmen invested huge sums of money to bring all these expensive and sophisticated type of machinery and equipment. You think they are doing it for decorative purposes? Don’t you think they intend to use them? And when they do, they are going to create jobs directly and indirectly and use them in projects,” Nandlall argued.
The PPP/C presented its first full year but second national budget last week to the tune of a whopping $383.1 billion, and according to Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, one of its main objectives is to ensure a diversified and resilient productive sector by facilitating large-scale private investment in both traditional and new and emerging sectors, in order to create 50,000 jobs in the next five years.
“Budget 2021 outlines a set of policies, programmes and projects which will not only directly catalyse economic growth, but will also see billions of US dollars of private investment realised across several sectors of the economy. Over and beyond oil and gas, the opportunities in agriculture, in tourism and hospitality, in manufacturing, in the service sector, all point to investment opportunity and tens of thousands of jobs being created in the shortest space of time, generating incomes and creating prosperity at both an individual level and at a national level,” the Finance Minister had stated.
Dr Singh further noted that Government will continue to generate opportunities for youths to participate in the job market and national development. With this in mind, Government plans to establish a National Job Bank and Labour Exchange to improve access to employment opportunities for job seekers, including youths.
Already, more than 450 jobs are anticipated to be created in the area of business process outsourcing (BPO) with the operationalisation of call centres at Tuschen, Enmore, and Linden partly facilitated by decreased cost of internet service after Government proposed to remove the value-added tax (VAT) on data for residential and individual use as part of its liberalisation agenda.
Meanwhile, another 3000 employment opportunities are expected to be created when the Wales Development Authority (WDA) becomes operational. (G8)