President David Granger yesterday announced that the Guyana 2017 National Budget will be presented on December 5, 2016.
Granger stated that Government is debating the establishment of a ministerial planning unit to help in the preparation of the budget.
The Head of State made the announcement on Monday at the National Toshaos Conference (NTC) at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre.
According to the Head of State, the pattern of preparation can only occur if there are established planning units to assist the process.
Since the coalition Government’s entrance to office, two National Budgets were presented early by Finance Minister Winston Jordon.
Two weeks ago Jordon had hinted that the budget would be presented earlier, stating that it would be sooner than expected. The budgets are presented early to allow for timely and efficient spending of funds.
By law, the National Budgets should be debated and approved by the House for assent by the President no later than April 30 of each year.
It is anticipated that the budget will have provisions for wages and salaries increases since the government is already considering proposals for pay hikes.
There are hopes that the 16 per cent Valued Added Tax (VAT) would be reduced since an assessment by the regional technical assistance mechanism of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is being carried out.
Meanwhile, consultations have already begun with the stakeholders and government.
The platform for the Budget 2016 was anchored on the five outlined in Granger’s New Year’s Speech. These entailed national unity, national infrastructure, national institutions, national security and public services. (Jeanna Pearson)