Gov’t sees 8.7% increase in revenue; 11.8% increase in expenditure

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Government’s revenue through taxes and other means at the end of this year is expected to reach $192.7 billion, an increase of 3.6 percent more than the $186 billion projected. This sum is also 8.7 percent more than what was collected in 2016.

However, the government’s total expenditure is projected to increase to $242.3 billion, an 11.8 percent increase from 2016.

This was disclosed by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan during his presentation of the 2018 National Budget on Monday afternoon.

“Current expenditure is projected to reach $184.1 billion, of which $176.1 billion will be spent on employment cost, other goods and services and transfers. Interest payments are projected to rise to $8.1 billion. Capital expenditure is expected to amount to $58.1 billion or 24.7 percent more than2016,” Jordan said in his presentation.

Relating to the increased revenues, he noted that higher collections of Value Added Tax by 11.3 percent, excise taxes by 13.2 percent, withholding tax by 40.8 percent and company income taxes by 16.4 percent, are projected to contribute to this improved performance.

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is projected to remit $47 billion for 2017, up from $42.3 billion in 2016, on account of increased remissions to companies and business, ministries and government departments, and foreign-funded projects.

It was pointed out that as the local oil and gas industry continues to expand, taxes from the sector will increase by $3.2 billion while international trade transactions are projected to rise to $19.4 billion.

At the end of 2017, total non-tax revenues are expected to amount to $23.6 billion, driven by transfers from statutory agencies of $10.1 billion.

$300M is will be transferred from the Lotto account to the Consolidated Fund, the Minister said.

It was pointed out that in 2017, the performance of the Public Enterprises deteriorated from a budgeted cash deficit of $12.1 billion to the latest forecast deficit of $12.8 billion due to the shortfalls of the sugar corporation and the power company.

While the Guyana National Newspapers, Guyana Rice Development Board, MARDS, Guyana Post Office Corporation, GuyOil, Guyana National Shipping Corporation and Guyana National Printers Limited had a combined surplus of $2.5 billion, the Minister said GuySuCo‘s production shortfall and Guyana Power and Light‘s (GPL) aggressive capital programme helped to erode this surplus.

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