Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh has said that while many ongoing initiatives will be catered for in Monday’s budget, several new policy initiatives will be unveiled, and will be of interest to every group of Guyanese.
“This year is going to be my biggest year budget… we’ve been careful over the years … to meet public expenditure like infrastructure,” Minister Singh said on Sunday, while putting the final touches to the budget at his Main Street office.
He said that the country and the world at large will have the opportunity to know how the economy performed over the past year. Government will have the opportunity to make projections as they relate to the economy for the coming year.
According to the Finance Ministry, Budget 2014, like every other budget is built around a menu of policies that aim to guard and protect and build on the country’s economic stability. Minister Singh reiterated that “Budget 2014 will be built around macro economic stability and creating the macro economic conditions that are medium or long-term economic…. we believe that it is a macro economic environment that is most conducive to attracting investments, creating jobs, generating income for the people of Guyana”.
The Minister explained that there is the other perspective which he termed micro-perspective which is the individual sectors and individual broad areas of policy, individual beneficiary groups of stakeholders.
Speaking to the threat of another budget being cut, Minister Singh stated that, “Any pronouncements of a particular budget whether it’s this year’s budget , whether it’s the national budget, will be cut without even having been seen and therefore without its merit being having assessed, I would say it’s gamesmanship and it’s most unfortunate that most of these statements have been made by Opposition spokespersons, because I would say that Budget 2014 like the PPP/C budgets have much that is in the interest of the people of Guyana,” Minister Singh noted.
He nevertheless expressed optimism that the Opposition will approach the budget presentations and perhaps the debate in a manner that reflects sincerity in examining merits of the budget because “ultimately the votes that each of us cast in the National Assembly should be driven by what should be good for Guyana,” he said.
“We have no problem making that open to the de-briefing scrutiny and subjecting them to the most vigorous debate and we hope that the end of the process we would be able to persuade the Opposition to vote in favour of the national budget