– Budget to focus on Govt’s transformational agenda
Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh on Monday announced that Budget Day will be Monday, January 16, 2023.
Dr. Singh has been over the last several months meeting and consulting with various stakeholders including the Private Sector, Government Ministries, other agencies, and Civil society.
Only last week, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government, led by President Irfaan Ali hosted another consultative meeting at State House with representatives from several private sector and other agencies to listen to their concerns and receive suggestions for Budget 2023. These all formed part of possible inclusions as the Budget 2023 planning process continues.
As with Budget 2022, this year’s Budget is expected to see critical development programmes for Government being fast-tracked and many more expanded to reflect Government’s continued transformational agenda for the country which has been taking it forward at a rapid pace over the last two years and five months since the PPP/C’s return to office in August 2020. It will be the fourth Budget presented by the current administration and the third by Dr. Singh who commenced his current tenure as Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance in November 2020.
Prior to this, Government’s first Budget for its current term was presented in August 2020. In that first Budget Government reversed a large number of harsh taxes instituted on citizens by the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Government.
The second Budget in 2021 was presented under the theme ‘A Path to Recovery, Economic Dynamism, and Resilience’ while the third was unveiled under the theme “Steadfast Against All Challenges, Resolute in Building Our One Guyana’. Budget 2021 comprised a number of developmental measures and also included funding for the construction of a number of housing schemes and expansion of existing ones along with investment in the revitalization of the country’s sugar industry.
There were also programmes that the Government implemented in partnership with private sector bodies and other stakeholders, especially with regard to the tourism, hospitality, and agriculture sectors. Several relief cash grant measures were also implemented and saw thousands of citizens across the country benefitting from the relief. A number of areas had been devastated by flooding and Government also provided relief for affected persons especially those who had suffered the loss of crops and livestock. The health, infrastructure, and education sectors also saw major injections in Budget 2021 as the COVID-19 Pandemic was ongoing.
Budget 2022 also saw major injections in a number of sectors including more expansion of the Government’s housing drive, the infrastructure sector catapulted with an increased number of roads and bridges constructed, energy expansion and diversification, provisions for persons with disabilities, several injections toward Amerindian and Hinterland development as Government proved its commitment to bettering the lives of the indigenous people. It also saw large injections in the health, education and security sectors.
The last budget was $552.9 million.