An assessment is being done on the state of Guyana’s economy. Only after this process, will the Irfaan Ali-led government embark on the formulation of a national budget. It is more than a year since a budget was presented.
The fall of the David Granger-led administration to a no-confidence motion back in December 2018 resulted in the legal arm of the regime being severed, and the government being reduced to a caretaker one.
Consequently, the powers of the government were trimmed; it could not execute several of its functions including the introduction and implementation of a national budget.
It did, however, manage to receive 12% of the previous budget to keep the wheels turning. But, with a five-month protracted delay in the declaration of the March General and Regional Elections and the Coronavirus pandemic, the state of the economy needs to be examined thoroughly.
Ali told reporters after the swearing in of 19 government ministers today, that the assessment is centred on the financial state of the country and its resources.
So far, the assessment has made some “alarming” revelations. Ali did not say expound on this but noted that the Coronavirus pandemic has definitely delivered a hit to Guyana’s socio-economic standing.
Therefore, the assessment must be done to ascertain the depth at which the virus is affecting people, and the country at large before the government crafts its to-do list.
He also spoke about the realignment of governance, and the adoption of cost-effective approach in dealing with overspending. It was his party, during the lead up to the March General and Regional Elections that condemned the “excessive” spending of the David Granger-led regime.
Notably, the Finance Minister Winston Jordan would have already initiated the groundwork for the crafting of the budget. He told the nation prior to the March polls, that while the government was barred from introducing a budget, it can still embark on preparatory work so that the new government can “hit the ground running”.
The status of those works is not clear at this time. Whether the Ali-led government will incorporate those works within its budget is also unknown.