Budget 2021 will reposition Guyana for growth – says Jagdeo

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Budget 2021 will allow for investment in several broad areas such as Guyana’s economic policy, COVID-19 mitigation, investment in non-oil sectors, job creation, supportive infrastructure with the opening of new lands and more.

Presenting on the Budge at a virtual press conference on Tuesday was Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo. Budget 2021 will be laid in the National Assembly on Friday.

He said that the Budget 2021 will be a continuation of the framework of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) manifesto.

The Vice President explained to the gathering that the previous APNU+AFC economic policy was not pro-poor or pro-private sector which caused “major deterioration” in the people’s welfare and economic growth.

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Moving forward, he said that – like the 2020 Budget which dismantled a number of tax measures set up by the APNU+AFC – the 2021 Budget will continue these efforts.

Furthermore, he said that if one were to annualise the benefits to be derived from the decision to remove these, it would amount to over GYD$40 billion.

“We made it clear from the beginning that we will dismantle all of those policies that affected poor people that they put in place,” Jagdeo said.

“We’re starting a second budget now coming less than five months after the last budget was passed and we have to build on those incentives that we gave in the last budget.”
Added to this, the new budget will address the expansion of the productive sector and assisting the non-oil economy. The Vice President once again blamed the former Administration for instituting policies which affected production mining, construction, agriculture and other sectors.

To correct this, he said that the PPP/C Administration will heavily invest in diversification to avoid the Dutch Disease as a young oil producing nation. Incentives will be injected to the expansion of the productive base of the economy in the non-oil sector.

The budget also seeks to create an enabling environment –fiscally and regulatory – for job creation, boosting the private sector and small businesses.
Supportive infrastructure will also be largely invested in to support the productive sector and other areas. This, he noted, includes new roads from Number 52 Village to the Canje Creek, Corentyne road; the Parika to Bartica road; the Ogle bypass and a four-lane road connecting Mandela to the East Bank of Demerara (EBD).

Roads could also be opened up in the savannahs through the setting aside of land there for use.

“So, if we’re going to have to open up new lands in the intermediate savannahs because we want new industries [such as] corn and soya production there to support our stock feeding industry [we could]. This is what we’re discussing now, to open up the intermediate savannahs for production,” Jagdeo stated.

The budget also seeks to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Guyana through sourcing vaccines; advancing the telecoms reform to 5g services across Guyana; the acceleration of capital projects of which energy projects will be crucial and the advancement of Guyana’s green credentials.



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