Just one month after the 2016 National Budget was passed, Finance Minister, Winston Jordan has declared that it is already having a positive impact on the economy.
The Finance Minister believes that the early presentation of the national budget may have aided in giving an early push for economic activities in the country.
At a press conference at his Main Street office on Wednesday morning, Minister Jordan said he intends to continue presenting the national budget early since he believes, the need exists for adequate time for projects to be implemented and for proper execution of government plans and programmes to take place.
“No budgeting could be said to be proper, if it does not necessarily start before the budgeting period, and I think that this has been a grave errors of ours over the last three decades with all of these late budgets”, he said.
Although the Finance Minister is convinced that the economy is seeing a turnaround, many business owners have been complaining that they are yet to see any improvements in the local economy and economic activities. To counter that, Minister Jordan explained that “it depends on who you are talking to.”
“I go to my favourite supermarket, and the guy comes and shakes my hands and he says thank you, things are looking up. But some people give you a negative outlook…and some others give you another outlook to throw you off”, Minister Jordan said.
With the government pegging economic growth at 4.4% this year, the Finance Minister warns that he is not saying that the economy is “rosy or hunky dory”, but “things are looking up’. He said Guyana is coming out of a long period, dating back to 2014, of an economy “that started tanking since then”
“If you think we are doing bad, go through the Caribbean and you will see and so I think we should be thankful for the small mercies that we have”, Jordan noted.
He noted that many of Guyana’s industries may still be feeling the economic squeeze but the government has been doing its part to ensure assistance, especially in the sugar sector, which has been allocated over $20 Billion since the coalition government took office nine months ago.
With Guyana recording economic growth of 3% last year, Jordan believes that growth points to an economic turnaround.
He added that as the government moves forward to ensure a better economy, it will have to exercise caution with spending.