THE government is still advancing preparations for Budget 2020 and while it will not be able to present it in Parliament, with its eyes set on winning the coming elections it will “hit the ground running.”
This is according to Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, who also advised on Friday that all acts towards the same are in keeping with proper governance of a country.
Back in June 2019, when People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament (MP), Juan Edghill condemned commencement of preparation for the budget, Jordan had responded that it is foolhardy for the opposition to suggest that the country move forward without financial provision.
“The government is acting within the law. There is nothing in any law that says the government cannot prepare a budget,” he had stated.
“The budget continues irrespective of [the] political situation in Guyana. The idea here is that if the current government forms the next government, it’s that government’s budget. If another [party] forms the government, then they can throw the whole budget out and start a new one or they can amend as they see fit. But there’s nothing stopping the budget process.”
Then, on Thursday, President Granger provided further clarity to representatives of the religious community and civil society, stating that the government will not produce a new budget but will not engage in actions which meet the criteria laid down for an interim administration.
On Friday, Jordan said that plans are being put in place for the budget which could be changed by which ever party wins the coming elections.
“We will not have the capacity to present the budget, as such, but the preparation is being done. Once we win the elections, we hit the ground running,” Jordan said, explaining further:
“We ourselves can adjust that budget as the winning government. We don’t have to take everything that is there because, depending on the margin of victory, the composition of government may change. We many get a full fledged Ministry of Energy, whereas now it’s a department. So, whereas now we’re preparing the budget now, we’re preparing the budget with a Department of Energy under the Ministry of the Presidency.”
Jordan said that contrary to the opposition which seeks to paint the budget preparation period as “illegal, they know better and did the same prior to the change of government in 2015.
“To end all the noise and so on, in the last elections when the present government won, there was a substantially prepared budget there and we used that, otherwise we would not have been able to present a budget,” he said. “Sometimes the noise that you hear, I advise you to go and talk to the experts because, in this season, much of what you hear it would [have] been different had it not been this season. And everything is spun to give a political slant to it.”