… Guyanese to see further manifestations of manifesto pledges – official

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government took office in August 2020 and was able to produce a budget next month and is now setting eyes on February 2021 to produce its next budget.
On Sunday, a senior Government official confirmed that the Ministry is currently in the midst of budget preparations and is targeting February to set its estimates in the National Assembly and present the 2021 Budget.
According to the official, Budget 2021 will continue to deliver the grandiose plans contained in the party’s manifesto, including its plans to provide 10,000 housing lots every year and to expand Guyana’s infrastructure.
The $ 329.5 billion budget introduced by the Government in September this year was a much-needed emergency budget that covered the remainder of the 2020 financial year. Prior to that, the country’s last budget under the former Government was on for National Unity / Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC) in November 2018.
After that budget, the former Government collapsed to No Confidence Motion (NCM) in December 2018 but refused to call elections within the constitutionally set three-month timescale. Elections were not called until March 2020, but it took another five months before the former Government finally admitted that they had lost the elections,
Although they tried to stay in power, however, the country’s reserves dried up and with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic slowdown ruined the livelihoods of thousands without any budget support from the previous Government.
Earlier this month, the Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh had revealed that the Government had started the formal process for commencing preparations for the 2021 Budget.
During an appearance on the Department of Public Information (DPI) broadcast program “The Progress Report”, Dr Singh revealed that the Ministry of Finance had sent the budget circular directing the various Ministries to begin preparing their budgets and submitting them to the earliest.
“Of course, Ministries have been doing preliminary work and considering their strategic priorities and so on. But the formal budget newsletter [was sent out] and immediately after it goes out, work across Government will immediately step up to speed up budget preparation … So that work will start immediately, seriously [this] a week, ”he had posed.
According to the Finance Minister, next year’s budget will be significant as it will be the first full year budget that the current Ministry led by Irfaan Ali will introduce.
“It will be the first budget of this Government’s current term in office so it will outline our medium and long term vision. It will include many of the important initiatives that we consider essential to the realization of modern Guyana that will unfold over the next few years, ”he noted.
Dr Singh further noted that given the substantial nature of the 2021 Budget, it will involve a considerable amount of work. However, he pointed out that President Ali had given his Cabinet a clear mandate that the various Ministries must do everything necessary to ensure that they prepare their budgets in a timely manner so that ‘ the budget and roll it out early next year to allow it to be implemented as early as possible.
At his Ministry level, the Minister for Finance revealed that they are currently working out the outlook for the economy, and sourcing and finalizing their estimates of growth for next year.
On the budget his Government passed within a month of taking office, Dr Singh had explained that the Government had been moving quickly to implement those initiatives, projects and policies. (G3)

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