Gov’t 100 days in office hampered by absence of budget

– Vice President

The PPP/C’s first 100 days in office has been severely affected by the absence of an approved budget for the 2020 fiscal year.

Vice President Hon. Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo today said the situation was compounded by over $200 billion in liabilities and unapproved spending by the previous Government.

Despite the constraints, the PPP/C Administration was still able to deliver many of the promises made in its Manifesto.

At his press briefing today, Dr. Jagdeo said the Government’s first 100 days in office could effectively be considered “40 days in office” since the Administration was only able to start its work programme after the passage of the Emergency Budget at September month end.

“You will recall that we passed the Budget but the Appropriation Bill was only approved on the 30th of September and that effectively gave us a Government, a fully functioning Government, only … the month of October and a few days in November, because prior to that we did not have monies to spend, we had to spend only the one twelfth provision.”

The Constitution, in tandem with the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act, allows the Government to spend one-twelfth of the preceding year’s budget in the absence of a budget for the current year.

The Vice President said his Government also assumed office under strenuous conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had to quickly address that situation. A government that did not have budgetary resources for most part of its life in the office, but we had to address that situation through exceptional means,” he told journalists.

Dr. Jagdeo said the Administration had to ensure it continued functioning at a higher level of efficiency.

“There has been a lot of changes in that regard to ensure that the machinery of Government to ensure that the machinery of Government operated more efficiently, expeditiously and with more care in terms of services it provided.”

The Government will mark 100 days in office on November 10.

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