Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has described the 2017 national budget as representing a
geographic spread of resources.
On Monday during a press conference following the budget speech read by Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, Nagamootoo posited that the geographic spread is greater than any other budget he has ever listened to.
“I’ve been in politics long enough and following parliamentary procedures on government affairs, that this is the first time that you have had a geographic spread of resources of the state.”
Nagamootoo said that in the 2017 budget it is clear that attention is being paid to hinterland communities whether by way of creating jobs, or by way of greening the economy, while giving focus to electricity, roads and bridges.
He said that everything in the budget is geared towards bridging the gap between rural and urban settlements, a promise which A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change had promised to do during their elections campaign.
The Prime Minister said, “Guyana is one Guyana and this I would say is the basis for equity of treating people who have not been seen as the blue-eyed babies of any administration, we have now elevated them to respect.”
He highlighted that not so long ago the elderly had an increase in pension and once again in 2017 they will benefit from a further increase. Old age pension has been increased from $18,200 to $19,000.
It was pointed out too by the politician that the social assistance to single parents has also been increased.
“Overall, however, if you look through this budget, you will see that it has done something that was needed for many, many years, politicians talked about the red tape and the bureaucracy and the lethargy that you experience in going to do paperwork.”
He added that persons should not be made to join a line at the airport to pay departure tax. He said that the airline should be made to do its business, thereby cutting out the hold-up in the system.
On the matter of transfer of compliance for motor vehicles, Nagamootoo said that the budget has an arrangement to address that. “You have issues dealing with the sale of bicycles or motorcycles to other vehicles, you have a fee that is attached, a fixed fee ranging from each vehicle you are dealing with.”
According to Nagamootoo, the red tape and bureaucracy are now being addressed by the 2017 budget in a very deliberate way for the first time.
“So this is not a budget that provides for the usual budgetary measures, (before) people would listen to hear what new taxes would have gone up or gone down. This is a total approach.”
The budget places emphasis on delivering the good life in a green economy, said Nagamootoo. He urged persons to get down to studying the budget speech and the budget itself, since no one aspect of the budget can inform someone about the whole financial plan.
“You have to look at every sector of the economy, every section of the Guyanese society to see how this budget is going to impact on the economy and the lives of people. It is a purposeful budget and it touches everyone, it’s going to definitely see an improvement in people’s lives and an encouragement for better performance in the economy.”
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