Highlights from Budget 2017
Budget 2017 was presented for the first time since 1975 before the beginning of the fiscal year. It totalled $250B; an increase of 8.7% over the 2016 National Budget.
On November 24, 1975, the National Budget for the year 1976 was presented by then Minister of Finance, Frank Hope.
During the presentation of the 2017 National Budget, Finance Minister, Winston Jordan disclosed that the government is considering a fixed date for future budgets.
Here are the highlights of Budget 2017 “Building a Diversified, Green Economy: Delivering the Good Life to All Guyanese”;
• Old Age Pension to increase to $19,000
• Public Assistance to increase to $7,500
• Foster Care stipend to increase to $20,000
• Increase in tax threshold – from $660,000 per annum to $720,000 per annum
• Reduction in the Personal Income Tax rate from 30% to 28% for individuals earning less than $180,000 per month. A new rate of 40 percent will be applied to the incomes of individuals earning in excess of $2,160,000 per annum.
• A reduction in the Corporation Tax rate, from 30% to 27.5% percent, for manufacturing and non-commercial companies;
• Introduction of a dual tax-rate for Companies carrying out both commercial and non-commercial activities
• Reduction in the rate of VAT from 16% to 14%
• Increase the VAT threshold from $10 million to $15 million
• VAT on electricity consumption 14% in excess of $10,000 per month
• VAT of 14% on water consumption in excess of $1,500 per month
• List of Exempt and Zero-rated items expanded
• The departure tax payable by persons leaving Guyana to be increased from $2,500 to $3,500
• It is proposed to increase the fee for a passport from $4,000 to $6,000. However, persons 65 years and above will be exempt from the payment of the passport fee.
• A fee of $2,000 for a Driving Permit issued to drivers residing abroad but visiting the country
• $2,000 for persons requiring a Letter of Authenticity for verification of drivers’ licences
Budget for sectors
Ban on importation of used tires to be implemented on April 01, 2017
• Almost $1B to implement a series of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects; $264 million for solar farm in Mabaruma
• $9B for GuySuCo
• Security sector gets $29.1B
• Education Sector gets $43.1B or 17.2 percent of the 2017 budget
• $31.2B or 12.5 percent of the budget allocated to improve the health sector
• $50M for creation of Youth Innovation Fund (YIF
• $100M for construction of 115 subsidised housing units and 45 roof and water catchment system subsidies in Regions 1 and 9
• $130M for newly created Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT)
• $134M for ICT infrastructure for improved connectivity
• Water sector gets $2.8B
• $338M for the design and construction of new sanitary landfill sites in Bartica and Linden
• A sum of $80 million has been set aside for constitutional reform
• $16M for National Toshaos’ Council Secretariat
• $165M for land titling project
• $90.1M allocated to support the consultation process and other social cohesion activities.
• $213.2 M for the continued strengthening of Go-Invest
• $95M has been set aside for the establishment of two business incubators at the Belvedere and Lethem Industrial Estates.
• $37.2B to narrow the infrastructure deficit in the country;
-$14.1B for the continued development and maintenance of roads and bridges
-$294M for the rehabilitation of stellings at Bartica, Supenaam, Mazaruni, Morawhanna, New Amsterdam and Rosignol
-$240M to recondition the Malali, Sandaka, and Lady Northcote vessels
-$295 million will be used to purchase a barge and dock several vessels.
-$2.5B allocated for the construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance of sea defence infrastructure in Regions 3, 4, 5, and 6
-$385M for rehabilitation of 9 airstrips across the hinterland and to commence rehabilitation of 3 more
-$9B for CJIA expansion project
• $150M for the Community Organised for Restoring the Environment (CORE) programme
• $20.6B to improve drainage and irrigation systems, increase cultivation and productivity in traditional agriculture and strengthen the livestock and fisheries subsectors.
• $2.3B for the completion, rehabilitation, and maintenance of pump stations and sluices
• $5.2B to strengthen government’s diplomatic efforts
• $60M allocated to modernise museums and archives
The growth of the country in 2016 as highlighted in the budget are all projections since the year is not yet finished;
• Real growth rate was reduced to 2.6% in 2016
• Sugar is projected to decline by 18.7 percent, to reach 188,000 metric tonnes in 2016
• Rice is expected to decline by 12.8 percent from the levels achieved in 2015
• The livestock sub-sector is expected to contract by 5.1 percent
• The forestry sub-sector is expected to contract significantly by 33.3 percent
• Both the fishing and other crops sub-sectors performed creditably, with growth recorded at 11.8 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively
• The mining and quarrying sector is projected to grow by 35.7 percent in 2016
• The manufacturing sector is projected to contract by 7.1 percent
• Construction declined from a budgeted 10.5 percent to a projected 3.2 percent in 2016
• The services sector is expected to expand by 1.3 percent
• Merchandise exports will grow from US$1.2 billion, in 2015, to a projected US$1.4 billion, in 2016, an increase of about 19 percent
• Projected inflation rate of 1.3%
• The non-financial public sector is expected to record a deficit of $30.4 billion, or 4.3 percent of GDP