Budget 2017 for Monday

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For the first time, the National Budget will be presented to the National Assembly before the commencement of the fiscal year.

On Monday, November 28, 2016, Finance Minister, Winston Jordan will be presenting the National 2017 Budget which is expected to include an increase in the minimum wage for both private and public sector employees along with several tax incentives for productive sectors.

It was recently disclosed by Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman that the budget will include several incentives to stimulate activities within the sector in the form of fuel and tax waivers.

It was also revealed by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo that a submission was made for the allocation of funds to meet the requirement of constitutional reform next year.

Ahead of the presentation, there have been several calls for initiatives that will benefit the population in a significant way; especially since it will come as good news during the Christmas season.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday called on the government to bring back the water subsidy and the $10,000 “Because We care” education cash vouchers, a 5% increase in salary for sugar workers, since this year is the second that these workers would not have received an increase and measures that would stimulate mining and is opposed to any attempt to remove mining concessions, among others.

Additionally, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) proposed a permanent reduction of the Corporate and Personal Income Tax rate, over 10 years to 20%, Concessions on income taxation for the creation of new employment in all value added sectors, Tax breaks for new tourism assets and companies which set up operations in depressed communities, relief on outstanding loans for rice industry, free taxes on security equipment and an increase in the income tax threshold to $100,000 per month.

The PSC also proposed tax-free overtime and implementation of all PSC supported infrastructure projects, among other initiatives in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

Already monies allocated to the various constitutional agencies; the Public and Police Service Commission, the Teaching Service Commission, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the Supreme Court, the Public Prosecutions Office, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Public Service Appellate Tribunal,  the Ethnic Relations Commission, the Judicial Service Commission, the Indigenous People’s Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Rights of the Child Commission, the Women and Gender Equality Commission, the Public Procurement Commission, the Parliament Office and the Office of the Auditor General have been approved.

Since its assumption of office, this will be the administration’s third budget. Budget 2016 which totalled $230B was presented on five pillars – National Unity, National Infrastructure, National Institutions, National Security and Public Services.

The themes for both the 2015 and the 2016 budget presentations focused on setting the foundation for the attainment of the good life for Guyanese.

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