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…Finance Minister says date on Budget circular only indicative date, not definitive
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh has clarified that no fixed date has yet been set for the presentation of Budget 2021.
Dr. Singh said that a date reported by at least one media outlet Tuesday was simply an ‘indicative’ date on the Budget circular disseminated just about two weeks ago.
“It was brought to my attention that at least one news outlet has reported that the date for the 2021 Budget has been set-that the Budget Date is February 5, 2021. The actual specific date for presentation of the 2021 Budget is yet to be finally determined. I suspect that the speculation about February 5 is probably derived from the Budget circular,” he said.
The Senior Finance Minister explained that budget circular timelines are usually set out for the budget preparation process and stages are stipulated with deadlines set for each process.
“So the Budget circular did include a date- an indicative date- for presentation of the Budget which we are targeting…but that is and always has been interpreted as an indicative date …the actual determination of which date precisely we are going to be tabling the Budget…that decision is going to be made I would say much closer to the time, “he added, reiterating that ‘no decision has been made that the Budget will be presented on February 5th or any other date’.
Meanwhile, the Minister said that Budget 2021 will be the first full year Budget of his Government’s five-year term and the medium and long-term priorities of Government will be outlined including Government’s long-term vision for the country.
“The manifesto outlines a lot of our major initiatives and big projects that will be our main departure points. In addition, we are hoping also to try to streamline the Budget so that the expenditure that we incur is more efficient as well. We’ve highlighted the fact that our predecessors in office were a lot more extravagant in spending in certain areas and we are hoping to streamline some of that spending, not necessarily eliminate it but to channel it into more productive areas… that will contribute in a more meaningful and direct way to both stimulating growth in the economy and improving people’s lives,” Dr. Singh said.