Finance officials meet GAB as budget talks wrap up

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Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan ended his series of 2019 National
Budget consultations, at the ministry’s boardroom today. The minister
and his team met with the Guyana Association of Bankers (GAB).

The GAB representatives included Bank of Baroda’s Managing Director
Arun Kumar Gupta, GBTI’s Executive Director Richard Isava, Citizens’
Banks Managing Director Eton Chester, Demerara Bank’s CEO Pravin Dave,
Republic Bank Branch Operations’ Manager Jadoonath Persaud and
Managing Director, and Association President Richard Sammy.

Sammy described the meeting as very fruitful, “We are looking forward
to working very closely with the Minister of Finance and the
government. The GAB President said the discussion focused on
incentives for renewable energy, the ‘Green Economy’ in business as
well as the deepening of the financial services sector for it to be
able to offer greater investment, not just for corporations but for
individuals.”

The modernisation of the financial services sector was also mooted,
with a greater use of technology, Sammy added, “vis-à-vis the
‘National Payments’ legislation which can promote greater investment
with the commercial banks. The GAB is looking to the realization of
these initiatives, which were discussed in-depth with the Finance
Minister. We expect to see them built into the national budget.”

The Finance Minister, in closing, said the presentations ranged from
the traditional to the new. He explained that the consultations will
be reviewed and further discussed, “to see what is feasible for 2019.”

Minister Jordan added that he was quite enthused with the tone of the
proceedings, “Both parties were mature as it relates to our
engagements and interactions with each other.”

Budget 2019 consultations began on September 6 at the Finance
Ministry’s boardroom. Submissions were made from a wide cross-section
of various sector stakeholders. Budget 2019 will be presented in
November, on a Monday as is traditional, according to Minister Jordan.

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