Relief measures will simulate economy – Finance Minister

Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh MP, says the relief measures introduced by the Government will translate to tangible benefits through stimulation of the economy.

The Minister made this statement during an interview with the Guyanese Critic Tuesday.

Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh MP

Dr. Singh explained that such interventions are costs to the treasury, but that they will end up translating to so much more, in effect, than assistance for the vulnerable groups who receive them directly.

“When you reduce taxes or you reduce the cost of doing business, or when you deliver support to households, that money doesn’t vanish into thin air. It stimulates economic activity.

“So, by reducing the cost of doing construction, you stimulate more construction activity. By reducing, let’s say, the cost of mining activity or the cost of agriculture by removing taxes on heavy equipment, you stimulate economic activity.”

The potential for economic activity, the Minister explained, is in the generation of jobs, incomes, and more tax revenues for the State.

Grocery stand

“They use that cash transfer, that support that is provided to them. They then take it… Immediately, they go to the market, they buy some goods with it, some basic necessities. They go to the shops. They buy some basic necessities with it.

They go to the service providers; they buy some basic necessities with it. And it then multiplies itself over in the economy. The person in the market gets more sales. They then put the additional sales, go to the wholesaler, they buy more. The wholesaler then goes to the manufacturer and he or she buys more, and more economic activity is stimulated.”

Dr. Singh said these interventions represent an important injection of liquidity into the economy.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali announced the most recent relief measures Monday. The $2.6 billion intervention targets pensioners, persons who collect public assistance, and those who consume no more than 75 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month.

The three measures which constitute this intervention are a $25,000 additional one-month payment for pensioners, a $25,000 one-time payment for persons who receive public assistance, and an electricity credit to the Guyana Power and Light for households consuming not more than 75 kilowatt-hours per month.

Dr. Ali also announced that the pay-out package of $7.8 billion for farmers and households affected by the May-June flooding will start later this week.

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