Emergency Budget being prepared – President Ali

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President Dr Irfaan Ali

The Dr Irfaan Ali-led Government is in the process of preparing an emergency budget that can be approved expeditiously in guide spending in the country for the rest of the year.

This was disclosed by President Ali during an interview with INews on the sidelines of an event last night.

“At the moment, we’re working on what I would term an emergency budget; a budget that we have to go to quickly. Of course, we will have the more expansive budget later this year but we have to have a budget to move forward to the end of this year,” President Ali said.

The Head-of-State asserted that a financial plan is desperately needed since no budget was passed for 2020 and the year is rapidly coming to an end. This, he added, has been compounded with the Covid-19 pandemic, causing a negative dent in Guyana’s economy.

The emergency budget, he indicated, will guide spending on Covid-19 relief, including the $4.5B his administration is currently securing to help households during the pandemic.

“I’ve also been actively involved in mobilizing resources from international agencies and bilateral partners and it has been going well so far. I’m hoping by Monday, we’ll be in a better position to say how much resources have been mobilized. I’ve also asked the Bank of Guyana to work on a relief package that would help people at the household level and secondly, help small businesses and people who would’ve had loans for housing and so on,” the President said.

The last budget approved by Guyana’s National Assembly was one for the fiscal year ending 2019, which means that all expenditure for the first half of 2020 has been curtailed to a monthly one-twelfth of the previous year’s expenditure. No new spending was possible during the first half of this year, except for special circumstances as was with the advent of the coronavirus Task Force.