Budget 2013: National Assembly approves $177.4B budget

 National Assembly approves $177.4B budget

Written by Kwesi Isles – Demerara Waves
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 23:28

The National Assembly Wednesday night [April 24] approved a GUY$177.4B (US$877.2M) national budget, some 15 percent lighter than the estimates presented by the government a month ago.

The combined opposition used its majority to evince a $19B cut in a $20B allocation earmarked for the Low Carbon Development Strategy pushing the total cuts to $31.35B. Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh had presented a $208.8 budget proposal to the House on March 25.

The LCDS cut represented the largest in this year’s budget as it had in 2012. The money was to be used as Guyana’s stake in the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project and would have originated from the biodiversity agreement Guyana has with Norway.  

However, the opposition parties were reluctant to approve the funds now stating that they preferred to await the IDB’s final approval of the hydropower project before approving the monies for it.

Dr. Singh in trying to convince the parties stated that they expected final approval by September and he urged the parties to show that the National Assembly was unanimous in its support for the project by voting in favour of the allocation.

His pleadings went unattended with the AFC giving the commitment that they were prepared to approve a supplementary allocation for the project once the IDB cleared it.

Other cuts made over the week of consideration of the estimates included the reduction of allocations for the specialty hospital ($1.25B); GINA ($135.85M) and NCN ($81.3M) to $1 each.

The parties also slashed a $10.2B allocation for GPL by $5.2B while an entire heading for air transportation totalling $5.6B was removed after the opposition parties erred in their efforts to cut $5.3B earmarked for the modernisation of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport which came under it.

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Comments

  • de castro  On April 25, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Interesting ..speciality hospital….not sure what is meant….

    Investment in specialist or specialist equipment or specialist research or
    specialist drugs or what. ?
    Sorry explanation needed for this cut in health spending.

    HEALTH and EDUCATION are essentials/priorities in societies
    so also is research and development of these.

    Not sure how the books will balance now that “spending” has been
    cut by 15% or 31.25B….
    Explanation necessary…Kwesi Isles or editor of Demerara waves please…

    Kamptan

  • Cyril Balkaran  On April 27, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Of greater interest in the 2013 Budget, is not the 15% cut that the Minister had to accept but is the Unism with which the combined opposition chartered their way to the cuts. No demonstrations, no police to fire on crowds, and the acceptance of these cuts on projects as CJIA, the Amelia Hydroelectricity Project and what have you. This is meaningful bipartisan dialogue and it will make the 8 years of economic progress at the growth rate of 8.5 % per annum more meaningful. This is good for the country while we hope that this dialogue continue as the country enters into more multilateral agreements with China and others!

  • de castro  On April 30, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Cyril
    According to Google Growth in Guyana has averaged 4.8 % over
    past decade…a plus plus situation for the Guyana’s economy.
    Cuts in spending does influence growth as George Osbourne
    UK s chancellor is learning…a price UK is paying unnecessarily.
    It also increases debt and creditworthyness…AAA rating et all.
    Cutting taxes later is his objective to increase consumer spending.
    With this his hidden political agenda.
    As a trade unionist for several years in UK I fought many battles
    with union and management over this issue.
    UK s welfare state status cannot afford so many job
    Losses or tax income….which is happening as a result
    In the cuts implemented in past 3 years.

  • de castro  On April 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Contd…
    China seems determined to do business in Guyana which is good
    but I do have my reservations on how it is negotiated/implemented.
    The Chinese are more aggressive capitalists today than USA or EURO
    but I would hate to see Guyana taken over by China economically or
    politically….even culturally by mass economic migration from China
    or any other economic powerhouse in east or west.
    I remain a sceptic ! Even though I am forever the optimist.

    The powerful corporations are fed by greed and averice in wealth accumulation.

    Kamptan

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