Prudent management led to economic growth –President David Granger
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, November 2, 2017
President David Granger today, addressed the 71st Sitting of the National Assembly where he emphasised the need for the public to be adequately informed about the Government’s economic and legislative agenda. A right that is enshrined in the Constitution of Guyana.
The President pointed to the fact that the country, over the past two years, under the Coalition Government’s leadership, has enjoyed moderate economic growth of 3.1 and 3.3 percent in 2015 and 2016 respectively. This growth he credited, to prudent management by the administration and macroeconomic stability.
“The Ministry of Finance has acted to create a favourable environment for business development, to protect investments, to moderate inflation and to maintain a stable exchange rate”, he said.
The Head of State noted that workers now enjoy improved living standards, pointing to the increase in minimum wage by over 50 percent, since the government took office, and other measures. The Head of State reminded that, “We reduced the income-tax rate and increased the income tax threshold by a minimum of 20 percent – measures which boosted our working people’s disposable income. National competitiveness has been enhanced by the reduction of the corporation tax rate for manufacturing and non-commercial companies from 30 percent to 27.5 percent.”
President Granger also highlighted the Ministry of Legal Affairs’ efforts in strengthening the financial regulatory framework to insulate our economy from the proceeds of illicit activities.
Developments in the infrastructure, telecommunications, agriculture and other sectors also formed the basis of his address. Increased investment, improving the business environment, increasing value-added production and exports and developing the tourism sector are some other steps being taken by the Government to advance the economy and create the “good life” for all Guyanese, he also emphasised.
In this regard, the President said that the Guyana Office for Investment has facilitated, since May 2015, 240 investment projects valued at G$187 B. The tourism sector continues to show promise with a 14 per cent increase in tourist arrivals between 2014 and 2016.
He assured that, “Your Government will continue to support the traditional sectors of the economy, particularly the sugar industry.” Government has provided G$ 31 B in financial support to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) in order to protect the livelihood of workers and to arrest the corporation’s financial haemorrhaging. “The sugar industry is being consolidated; it is not being closed. We will explore all options in the new financial year, 2018, to ensure a viable industry, mindful of its impact on the Nation’s rural economy and its residents”, President Granger explained.
In terms of infrastructure, the Head of State noted that the country’s transportation network of aerodromes, bridges, roads, stellings and wharves has been improved, making reference to the Iwokrama Aerodrome, which has been lengthened from 762 metres to 1219 metres and the more than 30 hinterland aerodromes which have been rehabilitated and maintained.
Additionally, President Granger disclosed that Government has begun the process of incubating the development potential of regions and has been ensuring that they are developed on the basis of ‘action plans’. These are crafted collaboratively by the regions themselves and involve the main stakeholders.
By: Stacy Carmichael