Come tomorrow, Friday, January 29, people from all walks of life in Guyana will be told what Budget 2016 has in store for them for the rest of this year.
Finance Minister Winston Jordan will be presenting the much anticipated budget for this fiscal year and it is expected to cover a number of measures aimed at stimulating the economy, provide employment opportunities and promote social programmes that will foster national cohesion and more.
President David Granger in an airing of the “Public Interest” programme earlier this month had stated that the biggest priority on the budget would be a “stimulus package” to jumpstart the economy.
According to him, Guyana needs to lessen its ‘dependency’ on the six major economic pillars – rice, sugar, bauxite, gold, diamond and timber – and advance further towards “economic independence” by developing and expanding its productive sectors.
Previously the President had hinted that investments in infrastructure and education would play an integral role in helping to reignite economic activities in the country.
Meanwhile, another major highlight of Budget 2016 would be more rigid measures to increase revenue collection, reduce leakages and tax evasion, and ensure compliance with the law and payment of workers’ National Insurance Scheme (NIS) contributions, he had disclosed.
The President also stated that Budget 2016 would focused on creating employment opportunities through micro-financing in order to develop micro-industries.
INews understands that particular interest would be devoted to ensuring young people can participate in the economic growth of the country.
Opposition Leader, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo had announced at a press conference last week that he will support the Government in any decision to reduce taxes, in particular the Value Added Tax (VAT), which he feels should be reduced from 16 % to 12 %.
It must be reminded that fiscal budgets are usually presented in March/April; however as a result of the General Elections last year, the 2015 Budget had been presented on August 10.
Jordan had presented a whopping $221B Budget to the National Assembly for the 2015 fiscal year under the theme “A Fresh Approach To A Good Life In A Green Economy” – which was the first fiscal budget for the APNU+AFC coalition.