Aug 11, 2014 News
The Government of Guyana has spent for the first half of the year, a total of $70B of which $19B was subsidies and transfers to various agencies.
This information was released over the weekend when Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, presented the annual midyear financial report
According to the information provided, non-interest current expenditure totalled some $54B, which is an increase of 28.7 percent over the corresponding period in 2013.
He noted that personal emoluments increased by 11.3 percent to $19.7B, reflecting the across the board five percent increase for 2013 granted to Public Servants and members of the Disciplined Services in December 2013, the five percent granted to Teachers for 2014 in line with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Guyana Teachers Union, and the cost of new recruits added to the government sector.
Other goods and services amounted to $15.2B, representing a 50.8 percent increase as a result of improved timeliness in programme execution, according to Dr Singh.
He noted too that transfer payments totalled $19B, 34.9 percent above the 2013 level, primarily on account of the subsidy to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO.”
According to Dr Singh, capital expenditure amounted to $14.6B compared to $10.9B a year ago, on account of higher disbursements on the locally financed Public Sector Investment Programme due largely to progress on ongoing projects.
As it relates to what the country owes in debt, Dr Singh reported that at end June 2014, Guyana’s total external public debt stood at US$1.23B, which was 1.6 per cent lower than at the end of 2013.
The decline in the debt stock follows the conclusion of a fourth Debt Compensation Agreement with Venezuela and the Wind-up Agreement of the Caricom Multilateral Clearing Facility (CMCF), in the first quarter of 2014.
Under the Debt Compensation Agreement with Venezuela, the debt owed to that country was reduced by US$55.5M, corresponding to the value of rice and paddy shipped under the Guyana-Venezuela Rice Trade Agreement from October 2013 to February 2014.
Under the CMCF Wind-up Agreement, Guyana secured additional enhanced Heavily Indebted poor Country (HIPC) debt relief through the cancellation of the US$35.9M debt that was outstanding.
He noted too that in addition principal repayments to external creditors increased by 10.8 percent to US$16.9M as at June.
Actual external debt service payments totalled US$24.8M which was 12.6 percent greater than the US$22M on as at June 2013.
According to Dr. Singh, the increased total debt service payments for the first half of 2014 is mainly the result of higher principal and interest payments to multilateral creditors.
The Finance Minister stated that at the end of June 2014, Guyana’s domestic debt stock stood at US$422.7M, which was 11.8 percent below the end 2013 position.
Dr. Singh also mentioned that the decline was primarily due to a reduction in Treasury Bill issuance by the Bank of Guyana.
As at June 2014, actual domestic debt service payments totalled US$3Mn, a significant reduction by 67.1 percent compared with the US$9.2M made during the first half of 2013.
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