Budget should have addressed human development – Williams

President of the Guyana Manufacturers’ and Services Association (GMSA) Clinton Williams said while recorded growth of 5.4 per cent in 2011 is good for Guyana and the private sector, the organisation wanted to hear more about the outcome of the tax review that was initiated just after the elections last year.
He was reacting to the 2012 budget presented to Parliament on Friday. The size of this year’s budget is $192.8 billion.

Further, Williams stated that more should have been said in the budget about the development of the human capital. He said that such development needs to be done in a more structured format and with more funding made available in order to satisfy the needs of the traditional and emerging sectors.
“This level of growth will give impetus for acceleration of local and foreign investment,” he said.

He lauded the budget measure of the increased income tax threshold and said that this would be good for the private sector.
He was also pleased with the measure which would see Guyana putting in place legislation to meet its obligation to the Economic Partnership Agreement between the nations of Cariforum and the European Union. “It shows that we are capable of delivering on those requirements,” said Williams.
He also called the removing of taxes on items imported for renewable energy generation “a positive step.

“We are looking forward to the completion of talks on the tax review,” he said, adding that he hoped there would be agreement on the measures agreed to among the stakeholders.

According to the 2012 budget, the manufacturing sector in 2011 grew by 6.8 per cent primarily attributed to the expansion in rice milling and sugar processing. “In addition, other manufacturing also grew by 4.9 per cent. The construction sector grew by 2.8 per cent, reflecting the completion of a number of major public sector investment projects and what is expected to be a temporary moderation in private construction activities,” the minister said in his budget speech.

He said the transport and storage sector grew by 14.2 per cent, as accelerated repairs of vital road arteries were carried out coupled with greater movement of passengers and cargo between the coastal and interior areas, and as travel out of the main domestic airport increased significantly.

In 2011, the information and communication sector grew by 1.5 per cent, wholesale and retail sector registered growth of 4.5 per cent. The financial and insurance services sector grew by 9.7 per cent, as the commercial banks continued to expand their branch network. Rental of dwellings grew by 1.6 per cent and other services by 0.5 per cent, the budget revealed.

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