AFTER months of preparation, the highly-anticipated national budget of 2022 has been finalised and is slated to be formally presented to the National Assembly on Wednesday, January 26, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance.
The release, issued on Friday, indicated that the contents of document were confirmed after several months of consultations with various stakeholders, including government ministries, members of the private sector and other agencies. These consultations were led by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh.
According to the ministry, the upcoming budget is expected to comprise a number of critical developmental programmes and projects designed to catapult government’s agenda of taking the country forward.
“It will also be a continuation of the fast-paced development path which served to be of benefit to citizens all across the country since the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) entered office on August 2, 2020,” the statement noted.
The 2022 Budget is the third budget presented by the PPP/C administration and the second for Dr. Singh who has been serving as Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance from November 2020 to present.
The first budget was an emergency budget presented in August 2020. This saw the immediate reversal of a number of punitive taxes instituted by the former A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Government among other significant measures while Budget 2021 was a landmark plan that outlined $383.1 billion in developmental initiatives across all sectors.
The 2021 Budget, presented in February 2021 under the theme ‘A Path to Recovery, Economic
Dynamism, and Resilience’ included funding for the construction of various housing schemes and expansion of existing ones, investment in the revitalisation of the country’s sugar industry,
programmes in partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders for investment in the tourism and hospitality sector, the construction of a number of new roads and other infrastructure as well as a number of cash grants to citizens that assisted them after the destruction of crops and livestock during the devastating floods of June 2021, a seven per cent increase to the public sector and several other cash grants throughout the year which, allowed for the stimulation of the economy.
Additionally, the 2021 Budget provided for large injections into the healthcare sector and assistance to frontline health sector workers, as well as the purchases of critical medical supplies including lifesaving coronavirus vaccines. “The developmental programmes included in the budgets all in all represent the fulfilment of promises made by the PPP/C administration in its 2020 manifesto,” the Finance Ministry said.
The government has since indicated its intention to fulfil every promise made to the citizens of Guyana and for which it was elected to office.