BUDGET 2024: ‘Undistracted’ PPP/C Gov’t using 5th budget to ‘stay the course, build prosperity for all’

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Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh on Monday presented the highly-anticipated 2024 National Budget to the country from a podium on the floor of the National Assembly being held at the Arthur Chung Conference Center, Liliendaal.

It is the fifth budget of the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) government since its return to government in 2020 and the second to be funded in part by proceeds from oil production offshore Guyana.

And though the government has faced many setbacks, Dr. Singh said they remain undistracted with the 2024 Budget presented under the theme: “Staying the Course: Building Prosperity for All.”

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh makes his Budget 2024 presentation (Photo: Guyana Chronicle/Delano Williams/January 15, 2024)

Among the challenges in 2023, both domestic and international as pointed out by the Finance Minister, is a rollover of the effects of the APNU+AFC’s government refusal to accept the results of the 2020 elections, the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia/Ukraine war, and the worsening climate crises.

If these were not enough, Dr. Singh reminded of tragic events in Guyana, including the death of 20 children in the fire at the female dormitory of the Mahdia Secondary School and the escalation of tensions with neigbhouring Venezuela over its claim of Guyana.

Notwithstanding, Dr. Singh told the House that the government’s leadership and stewardship remained steadfast and focused.

“We continued undistracted from our work to build a transformed and prosperous Guyana,” he said.

He highlighted a number of new and modern projects delivered last year and many other underway and explained that it is all towards building a Guyana where every Guyanese family will enjoy a decent life.

“Every single Guyanese family should have access to decent housing… sufficient nutritious food… good quality healthcare… relevant educational and skills training opportunities… potable water and sanitation and recreational facilities to support healthy living.

“These necessities matter not only for current comfort but more importantly for long term economic empowerment,” Dr. said in preface to rolling out the 2024 fiscal plan.

And so, the building of Guyana, Dr. Singh said, is also to ensure that every citizen is able to create, build, and accumulate household wealth through their own efforts.

“As a result of deliberate policy, household wealth is being bolstered more rapidly than ever before,” Dr. Singh added.

He said the aim is to ensure that national transition into the modern world must be accompanied by individual transition.

“This is the Guyana we are building. One in which basic needs are met for all. One where opportunities abound for wealth creation and one where we are fully integrated into the global economic system.” (By Kurt Campbell) 

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