An aerial view of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana (File photo)

Guyana to announce dozens of relief measures in emergency budget

An aerial view of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana (File photo)

Guyana’s newly-elected President Mohamed Irfaan Ali has proposed a range of economic measures expected to bring relief to the Guyanese people and economy.

President elect Irfaan Ali (Photo: Kaieteur News)

The measures were announced by Ali yesterday, September 7, and will be read at tomorrow’s sitting of the National Assembly where he will present an emergency budget for the current fiscal year.

The more than three dozen budgetary measures proposed by Ali will include removal of the value added tax on electricity and water, as well as on machinery and equipment for the recapitalisation of important sectors such as mining, forestry, agriculture and manufacturing. Those sectors will also benefit from the proposed removal of duties and other tax concessions.

Agriculture and other key sectors will benefit from the removal of value added tax and other duties in the proposed economic relief measures.

Further, the president is also expected to reverse the fees associated with land lease and remove the corporate tax on private education and private healthcare, according to the country’s Department of Public Information.

The economic proposals, expected to bring relief during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, will also include the elimination of the value added tax on a series of items including fertilisers, pesticides, agro chemicals and key inputs in the poultry sector. The VAT will also be removed from all exports, Hinterland travel, medical supplies, building and construction materials imposed after 2014 and mobile phones.

The struggling Guyana Sugar Company will benefit from $5 billion in direct budgetary support. (Photo: Guyana Sugar Company)

Additionally, several policies will be reversed under the planned measures including that for the importation of used tyres, the use of vehicles more than eight years old and the importation of half cut vehicles.

What’s more, the measures will provide for a cash grant of $15,000 for school children effective January 2021, a doubling of the school uniform voucher to $4,000 per child and a $25,000 old age pension provision.

The Government will also give $5 billion in direct budgetary support to the Guyana Sugar Company and provide pensioners with free pensioners once more.

The value added tax on machinery and equipment related to mining will also be removed in the proposed emergency budget. (Photo: Goldsource Mines Inc.)

Each household will also receive $25,000 for COVID-19 relief, with 150 million being set aside for frontline workers.

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic-led Government will also have special incentives for new hotels and communities which would now be considered vulnerable among other measures to be announced.