Guyana’s first trillion-dollar budget passed in the National Assembly


The first trillion-dollar budget ever crafted and presented to Guyana’s National Assembly was on Friday night approved.

Moments after it was passed, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh emphasised that the $1.146 trillion budget paves the way for the government to invest heavily in new infrastructure projects while delivering the social services needed by Guyanese.

“…This People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) government (is) in a hurry to improve the lives of every single Guyanese family and every single individual.

“We are also equally in a hurry to create opportunities,” Dr. Singh said.

The budget’s passage came after a full week of budget debates and four days of the consideration of estimates. And it was passed without changes though some $65.3 billion out of that budget is chargeable by law, directly to the Consolidated Fund.

The House also passed the Fiscal Enactment (Amendment) Bill, which paves the way for the government to enact the tax measures announced, raise the debt ceilings and allow the government to change the borrowing rules for the Natural Resource Fund (Guyana’s oil wealth fund).

Moments after the budget was approved and just before the government attempted to pass the Fiscal Enactment (Amendment) Bill, the sitting of the National Assembly was suspended following concerns raised by Opposition Chief Whip, Christopher Jones.

He told the Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir that there was some unauthorised transmission of conversations between the Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton and Opposition Parliamentarians in the opposition’s lounge during the livestream of the night’s proceedings.

For listeners following the proceedings virtually, the Opposition Leader and at least one other Parliamentarian were heard speaking as the Finance Minister defended the sums allocated to the Finance Ministry.

Jones said the “sanctity of the Parliament has been breached” and called on the Speaker to look into what transpired.

In response, a clearly upset Speaker expressed his concern.

“…If this was the case and it (the camera in the lounge) wasn’t shutdown, then certainly we will have to deal with this condignly,” the Speaker said just before suspending the sitting for 10 minutes.

The sitting resumed 10 minutes after, though it was unclear what transpired in relation to the Speaker’s investigation of the issue raised.

Nevertheless, the government was able to pass the Fiscal Enactment (Amendment) Bill.

In brief remarks before the Bill was read for a second time, Dr. Singh accused the APNU+AFC opposition of engaging in delay tactics to stall the passage of that Bill.

“The financing that will be mobilised under the auspices of this Bill will deliver accelerated improvement ot the lives of the Guyanese people and in their customary fashion, the APNU+AFC will do everything that they possibly can to frustrate the delivery of these benefits to the Guyanese people,” Dr. Singh said.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.