The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government took office in August 2020 and was able to produce a budget the very next month and it is now setting eyes on February 2021 to produce its next budget.
On Sunday, a senior Government official confirmed that the Administration is presently in the middle of budget preparations and is targeting February to lay its estimates in the National Assembly and to present Budget 2021.
According to the official, Budget 2021 will continue fulfilling the grandiose plans contained in the party’s manifesto, including its plans to deliver 10,000 house lots every year and to expand Guyana’s infrastructure.
The $329.5 billion budget that the Government presented in September of this year was a much-needed emergency budget that covered the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year. Prior to that, the last budget the country had under the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government was in November 2018.
After that budget, the former Government fell to a No-Confidence Motion (NCM) in December 2018 but refused to call elections within the three-month constitutionally stipulated timeframe. Elections were not called until March 2020, but it took another five months before the former Government finally conceded that they had lost the elections,
While they sought to stay in power, however, the country’s cash reserves dried up and with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic slowdown crushed the livelihoods of thousands without any budgetary support from the former Government.
Earlier this month, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh had revealed that the Government has initiated the formal process for the commencement of preparation for Budget 2021.
During an appearance on a Department of Public Information (DPI) broadcast programme “The Progress Report”, Dr Singh disclosed that the Finance Ministry had sent out the budget circular instructing the various Ministries to start preparing their budgets and have them submitted to the soonest.
According to the Finance Minister, next year’s budget will be significant since it will be the first full-year budget that the current Irfaan Ali-led Administration will present.