Budget 2024 appeals to everyone, outlines vision for development – Min. Indar

Budget 2024 appeals to all Guyanese through its measures and policies while outlining the vision for Guyana’s forward movement and economic growth.  

This was the position of the Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar as he passionately defended the transformative budget during Day One of the budget debate in the National Assembly on Monday.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar during day one of Budget 2024 debates

Minister Indar told the Assembly that the $1.146 trillion 2024 budget appeals to every sphere of life as it addresses problems faced by Guyanese.

“The 2024 budget is a budget for every strata of life in Guyana. It addresses all the problems we are facing in the various grouping of people including building a country that when the foreigners come in here by the thousands, they see the country that the country is revving with economic activities,” the minister said.

He highlighted the many efforts the PPP/C Government has made since taking office in 2020 geared towards enhancing the lives of every Guyanese.

One noteworthy initiative is the upskilling of 21,442 Guyanese across the country in their various academic endeavours through the GOAL Scholarship.

Some 13,000 Guyanese under the tax bracket of $100,000 will soon be beneficiaries of a tax-free salary, as the government increases the tax threshold from $85,000 to $100,000.

Moreover, persons who might not be recorded by GRA will also benefit from this new measure.

The minister also revealed that Guyana’s debt burden is 27 per cent.

“If you compare it to the western hemisphere, nobody, no country has a low debt to GDP ratio on tax burden as Guyana. Guyana is the lowest in the entire hemisphere,” he emphasised

Added to this significant fete, the minister passionately outlined the 75 per cent increase in old age pension over the past three years compared to the increases made by the opposition during their five-year tenure.

In 2015 under the opposition government, old-age pension increased from $13,125 to $17,000. Then later increased to $18,200 in 2016 and in 2017 it moved to $19,000. Despite passing a $300.7 billion budget, the elderly only saw $1,000 more on their pension; the final figure being $20,500.

“A lot of people are being helped by this government. We don’t turn our faces from the fatherless, the blind…We embrace it and put programmes in place for them that is what this budget is delivering. Check every line of the budget and you will see it,” Minister Indar said as he defended the government’s many initiatives geared towards helping the “poor people”.

The minister was adamant that over 7,000 sugar workers were unemployed under the opposition leadership.

The government is presently working assiduously to ensure adequate funding is provided to bolster the sugar industry resulting in the continued employment of many.

Some $72.3 billion was allocated for drainage and irrigation to assist thousands of farmers countrywide further propelling the agriculture section.

Taxes were also removed from fertilisers which was implemented by the APNU/AFC government.

Similarly, in 2015 the opposition’s total capital spending was $39.4 billion for the development of the country, out of which some $544 million was allocated for the construction of community roads.

“Less than 16 roads you can get from that. How are you developing a country with 16 roads” the minister queried highlighting that “In this government, we care for the communities. we care for the children who used to have to walk in the mud to go to school…we care for them that is why we are developing the country and that is why we have built 4000 roads since we came into this government… You can’t compare it.”

A bleak comparison to the government’s allocation of $73.2 billion in budget 2024 for the development of miscellaneous roads countrywide.

Meanwhile, Minister Indar reiterated the PPP/C government’s commitment to the continued development of the country and its citizens through the implementation of meaningful and revolutionary initiatives and measures.