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Budget Day is March 24

FLASH BACK: Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh and the Federation of Independent Trades Unions of Guyana at a pre-budget consultation earlier this year

Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, will present Budget 2014 in the National Assembly on Monday, March 24, his ministry announced on Tuesday.

The Finance Ministry hopes that the governing Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC), which holds a one-seat minority, and the combined opposition of the Alliance For Change (AFC) and  A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) that together hold 33 of the 65 seats will work together to realise the nation’s package of revenues and expenditures. “Despite the stalemate that has largely consumed the National Assembly within the last three years, Budget 2014 presents another opportunity for all parties to work together in the interest of the people of Guyana,” said the ministry in a statement.

Singh’s office says this year’s budget will continue to promote the PPP/C’s commitment to accelerate economic growth and social development. It will emphasize macroeconomic stability through the continued creation of investment opportunities, expanding and upgrading physical infrastructure, improving the quality of social services, and strengthening institutional and regulatory environments.

Government boasts that Guyana’s strong economic performance of recent years has been the direct result of the responsible policy stance adopted, and the prudent and responsible choices exercised and decisions made over the years by the PPP/C government. Over the past eight years, Guyana has experienced an unprecedented period of uninterrupted growth, standing out in its economic performance despite the crises that have enveloped economies in the Caribbean and beyond over those same years.

The compilation of the budget which began in June 2013, follows a number of stakeholder meetings which saw participation from the private sector, labor unions and other interest groups. However, despite repeated invitations to the APNU and the AFC, they opted to boycott the consultations. Minister Singh nevertheless calls on the Parliamentary Opposition to embrace the opportunity to work together with Government to ensure smooth passage of the budget through the National Assembly in the coming weeks.

This year’s budget presentation will be the eighth by Minister Singh, having first presented in 2007 following his appointment as Finance Minister in September 2006.