The Consolidation Fund and the persistent overdrafts

 We noted last week that the Consolidated Fund (CF), which has been a standard part of the budget estimates, was not reported for the 2018 budget. When questioned by the Opposition Leader about the absence of this statement, the Minister of Finance responded that Mr Jagdeo could always obtain a copy of the statement if he makes a request. This matter should not elicit such a flippant response, since this is the account into which all revenues received by the government are deposited and payments made by it are debited. When the AFC and PNCR were in the opposition they insisted that the PPP follow the constitution and deposit all moneys into the CF. We learnt last week that the signing bonus was not deposited in said account. Moreover, we noted that the removal of the statistics from the annual budget estimates presents a non-commitment to credibility and transparency on the part of the APNU+AFC government.

Writing last week in his Accountability Watch column, Dr Anand Goolsarran noted that the CF has been overdrawn for most years since 1992, and possibly earlier. In other words, since successive Guyanese governments consistently spend more than they earn in revenues, the CF has a negative balance or overdraft. I have seen some statistics from Dr Goolsarran indicating that the accumulated stock of overdrafts since 1992 amounts to approximately $133 billion…..


The abuse of sugar workers and some tentative solutions

My intention was to write this week about whether Guyana can evade the resource curse, which is often associated with oil and natural resource extraction.

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Budget 2018: Does it make a credible commitment to social cohesion and good governance?

We noted last week that the budget provides a glimpse that the government is starting to think about a coherent development strategy.

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Budget 2018: Searching for the comprehensive economic vision? Part 1 

The 2018 national budget outlines snippets of a broader economic vision, the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS), which somewhat underpins this budget and will likely do so for future APNU+AFC budgets.

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