Manufacturing body hails budget as ‘progressive’ but seeks further support
See below full release from the GMSA:
The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) commends the provision of Budget 2023 by the Government of Guyana, themed “Improving lives today, building prosperity for tomorrow”. The proposed fiscal and other related measures aimed at striking a balance between Guyana’s current and future needs are lauded as progressive and visionary by the Association in harnessing Guyana’s true potential to attain unprecedented growth.
The GMSA is pleased with the Government’s strategic measures that forecast diversified economic activities while grappling with concurrent challenges that continue to threaten global economic stability. A Government that effectively harnesses the resources of the country to gain adequate revenues for sustainable growth and development must be commended. The utilization of revenues from the first Carbon Credit sale in the amount of $31.3 billion, in conjunction with the transfer of Guyana’s oil profits in the amount of $208.9 billion from the Natural Resource Fund (NRF), without imposing new taxes is evidence that Budget 2023 is people-centered and pro-developmental.
A transformational budget requires that the Government play a concerted role in the investment and rehabilitation of key private-sector industries. The GMSA attests that the Government’s inclusion of the Association’s recommendations which were submitted to the Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh, Senior Minister within the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance at a stakeholder consultation held last year, assured of the intention to work collaboratively with the private sector. The following specific measures are key to advancing growth within the manufacturing and services sectors in particular: –
· $2 Billion in Agri Development which includes the establishment of a regional food hub with cold storage, manufacturing and processing capabilities.
· $300 Million in Rice development which includes the provisioning of two new drying floors in Regions 3 and 5.
· $150 Million in soya bean cultivation with the construction of a wharf in the Tacama area to further push Guyana’s targets of food security within the region.
· New facilities in Crabwood Creek and Orealla as well as new cold storage in Bartica. The acquisition of two new refrigerated trucks to support the transportation of agro products.
· $584.2 Million allocated to Small Business Support.
· Removal of the 14 percent VAT with respect to the sale of residential properties, which will also further reduce the cost of home ownership.
· $1.5 billion for the construction of a new laboratory for the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) which will allow them to provide adequate, accurate and timely services.
· $43.3 billion to facilitate the construction of the integrated natural gas liquids plant and the 300 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant within the Wales Development Zone and associated facilities. This project will directly cut emissions by 70 percent as well as trigger a series of major economic development initiatives in Guyana as energy costs.
· Increase in the monthly income tax threshold from $75,000 to $85,000 monthly, releasing a total of $3.3 billion into the hands of taxpayers and removing 12,000 taxpayers from the tax net.
The measures above represent the move towards Guyana building on the trajectory which the Government is placing on the transformation of our economy. Though these efforts signal the thrust, which is needed to drive our economy, the GMSA is still hopeful for other additional measures to be extended to benefit the manufacturing sector. The direct reduction in the cost of electricity as well as a reduction and removal of taxes on support services to manufacturing will greatly impact the sector, drive production and increase the GDP of our economy.
The GMSA remains open and committed to working with the Government in addressing and improving priority areas to aid Guyana’s development, while strengthening and diversifying the non-oil industries.