IDB commends gov’t for policy responses amid challenges

-support for vulnerable groups, productive sectors among the lot

The Government of Guyana has been commended for the implementation of several policy responses to the challenges the country faced.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in its December 2022 report, ‘Headwinds Facing the Post-Pandemic Recovery’ highlighted the government’s efforts at the micro level, to support productive sectors and vulnerable populations.

Notably, the excise tax on petroleum was reduced from 20 to 10 per cent in January, then reduced further to zero in March 2022.

The IDB also pointed to the fact that tariffs on services such as water and electricity remained fixed, with the government absorbing higher operating costs. In relation to its support to vulnerable groups, US$ 3.8 million was distributed in the form of one -off cash grants for households in the interior and riverain communities.

Public assistance was increased to $14,000 per person per month, benefitting approximately 18,000 people, with payments extended to persons living with permanent disabilities.

Old age pension was increased from $25,000 to $28,000 monthly, which will see 65,000 senior citizens benefitting nationwide.

In addition, US$4.8 million was allocated for the purchase and distribution of fertiliser for farmers to reduce operating costs.

The report also noted that the fiscal sector has benefitted from higher payments to the Natural Resource Fund.

According to the NRF quarterly reports published by the Ministry of Finance, the fund benefitted from a total of US$1.45 billion through September 2022 since its creation in 2020, including almost US$840 million in 2022.  

As part of its efforts to strengthen food security, government continues to promote the Vision 2025 by 25 policy, which seeks to reduce the high CARICOM food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, government strengthen food

The report stated that Guyana is among the governments in the region that have been organising investment forums to promote technological improvements in agriculture and foreign direct investment.

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