2000 POLICY ISSUES & TARGETS
In announcing the policy
agenda for 2000, the Minister referred to the 1997 Elections Manifesto
of the PPP-Civic policy initiatives identified by the PPP-Civic noting
that the “very packed policy agenda” was set specifically to
accelerate the pace of development in Guyana.
The two major issues for
tax administration in the last budget are once more the key tax features
in the 2000 budget, but in more advanced stages of planning and
The cornerstone of tax
administration - the formation of a Revenue Authority - was established
on January 27,2000 as a key mechanism intended to strengthen tax
administration, improve revenue collection and deliver more effective
Value Added Tax
A feasibility study
conducted by the IMF to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the
current tax system and to explore the feasibility of substituting new
taxes including Value Added Tax has been completed. The Government has
undertaken to consult in 2000 with stakeholders on the recommendations.
Transparency and Efficiency of the Economy
The Government identified
that it would introduce far-reaching structural and regulatory reforms,
the implementation of a dynamic privatisation programme and improvement
to the business environment.
Tender and Procurement
Discussions are currently
ongoing regarding the tabling of a new Procurement Act which will
address issues such as standardisation of bidding documents and a
centralised management for tendering.
Management of Government Assets
Privatisation efforts are
expected to be continued this year for Linmine, Bermine, Guyana Stores
Limited, Guyana National Printers Limited and GNCB Trust. The entities
are being privatised with a view to improving efficiency and
The operations of the
holding company, National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL),
will be merged with those of the Privatisation Unit (PU) but NICIL will
be expected to retain responsibility for all of the government’s
equity investments and properties.
Economic Infrastructure for Accelerated
Allocation of $1.3Bn
for drainage & irrigation and to construct or repair sluices,
kokers, regulators and other structures.
Substantial works to
be carried out on sea defenses in the Essequibo Coast, Bush Lot,
Turkeyen and the West Coast of Demerara.
The Cheddi Jagan
International Airport to benefit from new approach lighting,
repaving the runway, and the creation of a new civil aviation
authority, to ensure that the airport is in compliance with
International Aviation Organisation’s standards.
rehabilitation of ferries and ferry stellings.
to be constructed/repaired including the Essequibo Coast Road, the
Corentyne Highway and the Soesdyke/ Linden Highway.
Seven Hundred Million
Dollars to be expended to rehabilitate section of Mabura/Lethem road
and critical sections of Bartica/ Issano/ Mahdia and Black Bush
Resources have been
provided for the completion of the Eccles Industrial Estate and
establishing industrial estates at Lethem, New Amsterdam and
US$24M allocated to
Guyana/Urban Development Scheme. The six municipalities targeted are
Georgetown, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, Corriverton, Linden, and Anna
$ 235 M is allocated
for Poverty Interventions during the year.
Job Creation & Growth
At the historic Business
Summit President Jagdeo held with the private sector in late 1999 key
issues for implementation identified were money laundering legislation,
the establishment of the Revenue Authority, and the housing and funding
of the Tourism Authority.
Promoting the Small
The Institute of Private
Enterprise Development (IPED) will continue to play a major role in the
sector, by disbursing G$830M to 6,200 borrowers. This is aimed at
helping disadvantaged youths start their own business.
Initiatives to Boost
Legislation governing the
establishment and operation of the Tourism Advisory Board to be
completed. The Government has allocated $20M to part finance the Board’s
Social Sector Programme
The Health and Education
sectors are to benefit from increased allocations of G$4.7Bn and $1.3Bn
Water and Sanitation
Three major integrated
water systems will be completed and operationalised in Pouderoyen, Rose
Hall and New Amsterdam
Twenty thousand house
lots will be prepared for distribution and US $30M loan will be
undertaken for a Low Income Settlement Project. One billion dollars will
be spent on upgrading and regularising squatting communities, developing
new sites and services for expanded house construction. An incentive is
to be created for increased mortgage lending. An amendment to the Act
will soon allow for NBS to accept security other than transport or
certificate of title. The amendment to the Income Tax Act will allow for
other financial institutions to operate like the NBS when extending
mortgages to borrowers.
Pursuing Additional Debt
Government will seek debt
relief of US$ 322M from our bilateral and multilateral creditors.
Maintaining a Viable
The major concern of the
economic management of the country has been the maintenance of a viable
macroeconomic stance. This concern includes high and positive growth
rates, single digit inflation rates, and sustainable balances of balance
of payments and the Government sector. These indicators are expected to
deteriorate in 2000 because of elections among others. The Government’s
need for financing from commercial banks will be reduced and this will
allow the private sector more access to credit.
Investing in the Priority
The beginning of this new
decade and century is viewed as being one of expanding the scope and
impact of public expenditure in pursuit of development with a human
face. 33% of the resources will be invested to stimulate growth in the
Growth Rate and
Real GDP is projected to
grow by a further 3% in 2000. The sectoral growths are as follows:
Sugar production is
budgeted to decline by 3.4% to 310,641 tonnes.
Rice output is
projected to grow by 0.1% to 365,500 tonnes.
Other crops and
livestock are targeted to grow by 4.9 % and 6.5%, respectively.
Forestry sub sector
is expected to increase by 6.1 %.
Fishing is expected
to grow by 3 %.
comprising primarily bauxite and gold is expected to increase by
Gold output is
projected to grow by 3.4%.
- Engineering and construction is
estimated to expand by 8%.
Sector is projected at 4.5 %.