Business not upbeat about budget
business sector is lamenting the continued lack of incentives for the local private sector and high tax regimes in Guyana as key areas for economic development which were not addressed by the 2918 budget which was presented to the National Assembly last week.
Speaking for the sector the Georgetown Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) in a statement recorded its displeasure “that the fiscal policy initiatives detailed in the budget did not provide stimulus t o some main sectors of the economy.”
The GCCI has concluded that the budget has shortcomings as it relates to incentives for the pri- vate sector. The Chambers said the budget failed to provide clear direction on incentive regime for private sector, apart from the Investment Act and Aid of Industry Act.
The organization noted particularly that there has been no reduction to corporate income taxation rate, personal income tax rate or a raising of the tax threshold.
Additionally, the GCCI said it was hopeful that a clear plan would have been articulated in the way of job- creating investments and/ or, f acilitation of job-creating investments.
The Chambers said it is also worried about the lack of plan to address the fact that hundreds of workers will be displaced owing to government’s intention to close the sugar esates across the country.
“Also worrisome, is the fact that no elaboration of a strategy t o absorb workers who will be displaced by government’s attempts at GUYSUCO’s divestment/ curtailment,” the GCCI said.
The body said government’s efforts to address the economic and social malaise stemming from this divestment were reduced to three sentences in a paragraph and that this is a great cause for concern given the industry’s importance and material impact on the economic livelihood of many communities.