See full statement from the Private Sector Commission:
The Private Sector Commission commends the Government of Guyana on the timely delivery and declaration of the National Budget 2024, a landmark fiscal plan totalling 1.146 trillion Guyana dollars. This budget represents the largest allocation in the nation’s history and showcases the government’s commitment to fostering economic growth and development.
Key highlights of the budget include the impressive 33% growth in Guyana’s real economy in 2023, coupled with an 11.7% expansion in the non-oil sector. The Private Sector Commission acknowledges the government’s dedication to economic diversification and sustainability.
The National Budget 2024, totalling 1.146 trillion Guyana Dollars, emphasizes strategic allocations to foster key sectors and address fundamental needs. Notably, the agriculture sector receives a substantial 97.6 billion Guyana dollars, focusing on revitalization through significant investments in drainage and irrigation infrastructure to boost productivity and enhance food security. The commitment to infrastructural development is evident with 204.1 billion Guyana dollars allocated for upgrading roads and bridges, reflecting continuous dedication to improving transportation networks and river transport, positively impacting trade and connectivity.
The Private Sector Commission applauds the government’s commitment to promoting small businesses through measures such as reducing interest rates on loans lower than 5 million Guyana dollars. The replenishment of the Small Business Development Fund is crucial for supporting small business growth.
Additionally, the removal of VAT on technology and the increase in the income tax threshold to 100 thousand Guyana dollars will contribute to increased disposable income, fostering economic resilience and growth.
The government’s commendable allocation of 129.8 billion Guyana dollars to the health sector is anticipated to enhance healthcare services, contributing to the overall well-being of the Guyanese population. The budget’s emphasis on housing, water, and waste management development reflects a holistic approach to addressing citizens’ fundamental needs. The Private Sector Commission appreciates the substantial allocation for social services and, Amerindian and hinterland development, recognizing the importance of inclusive growth across all regions of Guyana. Furthermore, fiscal measures such as maintaining zero excise tax on fuel, extending the application to freight cost adjustment, and implementing measures to alleviate the impact of the cost of living demonstrate the government’s responsiveness to the needs of every Guyanese.
Furthermore, the budget launches the initial phase of eliminating outstanding university student loans. Notable enhancements encompass a minimum pension increase to $43,075 and an option for eligible contributors aged 60 to receive a one-off grant, subject to stipulations and increasing the income tax threshold from $85,000 to $100,000 per month.
These measures underscore the government’s dedication to citizens’ financial security.
In conclusion, the National Budget 2024 is a testament to the government’s dedication to fostering economic growth, promoting social development, and ensuring the well-being of all Guyanese citizens. The Private Sector Commission looks forward to collaborating with the government in realizing these ambitious initiatives and contributing to the continued prosperity of Guyana.