APNU Leader David Granger yesterday called for the establishment of a tripartite budget committee before the end of the year to oversee the preparation of the 2012 national budget, which must be presented to the House before March 30, 2012.
Granger, in a release, indicated that this was in the light of the parliamentary minority that the PPP/C will have in the National Assembly when Parliament is convened later this month. He said it would be inadvisable for the PPP/C administration to proceed to prepare a budget to be brought before the National Assembly without prior consultation with the opposition APNU and AFC.
The budget, Granger said, must be presented to the House no later than 30th March, 2012 and must be passed later than 29th April.
Granger called for the committee to be convened as early as possible to oversee the preparation of the budget. According to him, the committee will, among other things, “collaborate with the Bank of Guyana, Statistical Bureau and other departments in presenting an accurate and detailed picture of the economy; identify all sources and funds and examine potential sources of new funds” as well as “propose the inclusion of programmes and projects consistent with public needs, identified during the elections such as programmes aimed at job-creation, community-renewal, improv-ed education and poverty alleviation. The committee, he added, would propose tax reform measures including the lowering of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) and personal income tax with their likely impact on revenue and economic growth and address their likely impact on revenue and economic growth.
The committee, according to Granger will also “examine all categories of expenditure and recommend areas where expenditure could be adjusted, foregone, revised, reviewed, renewed or removed.”
Following the November 28 polls, the PPP/C, which had a majority government since 1992, retained the presidency but lost control of the 65-seat Parliament to the opposition APNU and AFC. With no party securing an outright parliamentary majority, political consensus will be critical to the effective functioning of the government.