Private Sector pleased with 2015 budget

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Minister of State Joseph Harmon congratulates Finance Minister Winston Jordan on presenting his first National Budget. [Jules Gibson Photo]
Minister of State Joseph Harmon congratulates Finance Minister Winston Jordan on presenting his first National Budget. [Jules Gibson Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Private Sector Commission (PSC) is pleased with the $221B 2015 fiscal budget presented to the National Assembly on Monday, August 10 by Finance Minister Winston Jordan.

The Commission in a statement noted its pleasure that several of its recommendations were taken on board in the crafting of the budget particularly those that would act as a stimulus to the economy.

“The PSC believes that the allocations to the sugar and rice industry will allow those industries to regroup and recover so that they can make significant contributions to the economy. The assistance to small and medium scale miners will also allow the industry, which has produced the bulk of our exports, to adjust to the new reality of lower gold prices,” the release stated.

The allocation of funds for roads, bridges, air and river transport and particularly the rehabilitation of hinterland airstrips are also welcomed by the PSC, which noted that this will undoubtedly boost the integration of hinterland communities into the economic life of the coastland.

“The PSC is also particularly pleased about the allocation of financing for the dredging of the Demerara harbour, the siltation of which has for years led to increased shipping costs and therefore impacted the competitiveness of our exports and the final prices of imports,” noted the statement.

The Commission also welcomes the salary and wage increases for the public service and especially the significant increase in old age pensions. These will undoubtedly provide welcome relief to a large component of the citizenry.

However, the PSC is disappointed at the decision to discontinue the Amaila Falls Hydroelectricity Project and is urging the government to seek alternate renewable energy sources as the high cost of energy continues to be a stumbling block in the way of the production of value-added goods and the growth of the manufacturing sector.

“The Commission also notes the decision to lower tolls for the Berbice River Bridge and hopes that this was done within the terms of the Public- Private Partnership agreement.”

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