The Opposition People’s Progressive Party / Civic (PPP/C) has noted with deep concern the increasing deficit in the country’s balance of payment which it says will continue to have serious implications in the local economy.
“Our overall balance of payment moved to a deficit of US$46M from a surplus of US$12.1M,” Opposition Member of Parliament and point man on Finance, Irfaan Ali said on Monday during a press conference.
According to Ali, these rising deficits are mainly due to a lower export receipt, which is the result of lower revenue from export earnings.
He noted that as a result of the increase, the Government will still have to finance these deficits and as such, they have been doing so by tapping into the Gross International Reserves.
“The deficit in sugar for example, is $6.3B and you can add this up and at the end of this you’ll imagine having this amount of revenue in the economy circulating, what it means to the ordinary people and various industries,” he explained.
Moreover, Ali pointed out that the local Forestry sector has seen a significant decline of over 80 per cent.
This drop, he says, from 2015 to date, has cost the country US$5.8 million in just that sector. He further pointed out that the same crisis exists in the other productive subdivisions.
“We have increases in essential goods and services. We have a decline in the productive sectors, the financial services sector. We have declining revenue coming in all the main sectors of the economy,” he posited.
Additionally, Ali asserted that there has been an increase in non-performing loans within the Banking sector, which is a tell-tale sign that things are going downhill.
The Former Minister expressed his belief that Guyana’s economy is now reeling from the damaged imposed on it by Government since assuming office over two years ago.
The Opposition says it is urging Government to rethink its economic policies so as to bring about greater levels of development and opportunities.