‘Hard work’ commences in all sectors with approval of $781.9B budget – Dr Singh
Government will immediately commence work towards delivering the programmes and initiatives outlined in the $781.9 billion 2023 National Budget to the benefit of all Guyanese.
The ‘historic’ budget has no new taxes and is partially financed by revenues earned from Guyana’s sale of carbon credits, as well as withdrawals from the Natural Resource Fund.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, speaking during an interview with the state media, said now that the budget has been given parliamentary approval, the ‘hard work’ commences in the various sectors.
“A new phase of hard work begins … and that phase is the implementation of this budget and my charge to my ministerial colleagues and to their respective teams….my charge to them would be, let us move onwards immediately to start implementing Budget 2023.
“Preparation and passage of the budget are one thing; we have achieved that now as a government and we are happy about that …. but the implementation of the budget is what really matters, delivering these projects and programmes and initiatives to the people of Guyana,” Minister Singh underscored.
The finance minister reminded that budget 2023 seeks to strike a balance between addressing the immediate needs of citizens and laying the foundation for a prosperous future.
“Budget 2023, first of all, pays attention to the things that matter most to our citizens; improving the infrastructural conditions in which they live, their community streets …. It improves the quality of social services that they enjoy; their education and health and water and those services they have access to, quality of public services,” he asserted.
The sum of $84.9 billion has been allocated for the health sector while $94.4 billion for the education sector.
Transformational projects including upgrading and widening of the Corentyne Highway from Palmyra to Crabwood Creek; upgrading of the East Coast Railway embankment road into a four-lane highway from Sheriff Street to Orange Nassau; construction of a second bridge across the Hope Canal and construction of the East Coast to East Bank road linkage from Ogle to Eccles, among others will be undertaken this year.
Meanwhile, Guyanese are set to benefit from immediate interventions includingthe increase in income tax threshold from $75,000 to $85,000 removing 12,000 taxpayers from the tax-paying bracket.
Additionally, the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant has been increased from $25,000 to $35,000 benefitting over 214,000 private and public school children. Pensioners will receive an increase from $28,000 to $33,000 monthly in pension.
There is also an increase in the low-income mortgage ceiling from $15 million to $20 million, reducing the cost of borrowing within this range from commercial banks and further incentivising home ownership.