Finance officials meet GAB as budget talks wrap up

– All submissions will be reviewed

– Consultations conducted with maturity by stakeholders says Minister Jordan

DPI, Guyana, Friday, September 14, 2018

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan ended his series of 2019 National Budget consultations, at the ministry’s boardroom today. The minister and his team met with the Guyana Association of Bankers (GAB).

The GAB representatives included Bank of Baroda’s Managing Director Arun Kumar Gupta, GBTI’s Executive Director Richard Isava, Citizens’ Banks Managing Director Eton Chester, Demerara Bank’s CEO Pravin Dave, Republic Bank Branch Operations’ Manager Jadoonath Persaud and Managing Director, and Association President Richard Sammy.

Sammy described the meeting as very fruitful, “We are looking forward to working very closely with the Minister of Finance and the government. The GAB President said the discussion focused on incentives for renewable energy, the ‘Green Economy’ in business as well as the deepening of the financial services sector for it to be able to offer greater investment, not just for corporations but for individuals.”

The modernisation of the financial services sector was also mooted, with a greater use of technology, Sammy added, “vis-à-vis the ‘National Payments’ legislation which can promote greater investment with the commercial banks. The GAB is looking to the realization of these initiatives, which were discussed in-depth with the Finance Minister. We expect to see them built into the national budget.”

The Finance Minister, in closing, said the presentations ranged from the traditional to the new. He explained that the consultations will be reviewed and further discussed, “to see what is feasible for 2019.”

Minister Jordan added that he was quite enthused with the tone of the proceedings, “Both parties were mature as it relates to our engagements and interactions with each other.”

Budget 2019 consultations began on September 6 at the Finance Ministry’s boardroom. Submissions were made from a wide cross-section of various sector stakeholders. Budget 2019 will be presented in November, on a Monday as is traditional, according to Minister Jordan.

Paul Mc Adam

Images: Leon Leong, Jules Gibson