Govt working to craft urgent budget in 21 days
DPI, Guyana, Friday, August 14, 2020
The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government is moving assertively to craft a National Budget for this year, to cushion the current economic state of the country.
With just four months before the end of the financial year, Vice President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Hon. Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, said the national fiscal plan will have to be attended to urgently, to bring relief to those who are already under economic pressure.
Speaking at his first Press Conference as Vice President today, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Dr. Jagdeo emphasised that the budget will have to be prepared within 21 days.
“The reason is that the country and the help that people need, in many of the sectors, cannot be made available to them unless we have an early Budget. So, we will have to work overtime to get the National Budget ready in another three weeks,” the Vice President told the media.
Under normal circumstances, the process would take 179 days; this includes the day the circular goes out to the actual budget presentation in the National Assembly. However, the situation now is different.
The Vice President explained that the situation is somewhat complicated since the new PPP/C Government is currently returning the nomenclature of several Ministries to the old structure.
In that regard, the Integrated Financial Management and Accounting System (IFMAS) will also have to be changed to have a smooth disbursement of resources.
This requires shifting of programmes which were placed under certain Ministries with slush funds and which were not properly audited nor had any synergy with related Ministries.
“So, we are doing that right at this point to see that the structure is an efficient one that we can reduce administrative cost which skyrocketed under the last [APNU+AFC Coalition] Government, and that we can have synergy and so the changes are currently being made to the IFMAS system to allow the preparation of the budget,” the Vice President stated.
The five-month electoral gridlock in the country prevented the presentation of a National Budget, coupled with the global Coronavirus pandemic that brought economic havoc on Guyana.
It was highlighted that public corporations have until Wednesday, August 19, to submit their Budgets, while Ministries will submit theirs on Monday, August 17, 2020.