The Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo wants the upcoming 2017 National Budget to be consistent with promises made by President David Granger during his address to the National Assembly a few weeks ago.
At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Jagdeo said he wishes the Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, well, as he prepares to present the Budget on November 28, but hopes the Budget will address the issues facing the society and that it enhances public security and develops Guyana.
“We welcome a budget that will do these things”, he assured.
According to the Opposition Leader, “we hope what the President addressed in his speech to the National Assembly will be reflected in the budget.” He continued that while President Granger said that there is a “green agenda”, there should be an overriding framework provided for that green agenda in the National Budget.
“If that is the objective, we must see how we will achieve that.”
There are plans afoot for an institution for Biodiversity to be built at Iwokrama and the Leader of the opposition said that there must be a concrete allocation for said institution.
Identifying a few examples of promises made by President Granger, Jagdeo reiterated that the Minister of Finance has to be held “accountable” for those promises, “if not, then someone is duping us.”
He also called for the Minister of Finance to reinstitute the one month tax free bonus that the Disciplined Services got in the past years as it would “boost” the economy and said “he should do it before the budget or shortly after the budget” as it will bolster the economic activities in Guyana.
Along the same note, Jagdeo also urged that the utility subsidies for senior citizens and for the government to return the $10,000 allowance for school aged children.
The PPP government had agreed to halt that same project before it left office.
But Mr. Jagdeo also stressed that the budget should show clearly what the government has in store for the future of the sugar industry.