The Government of Grenada is pushing ahead with plans for the 2021 budget despite the economic uncertainties created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Finance, on Wednesday hosted the country’s budget retreat, held virtually because of the physical distancing protocols. An annual staple on the ministry’s calendar, the budget retreat seeks to present government’s key strategic priorities for the upcoming budget year; chart the way forward for the Public sector Investment Programme; highlight key interventions for the last quarter of the current budget year and agree on action, reporting requirements and timelines for the preparation of the national budget.
Addressing Government Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Departments, Finance and Planning Officers in attendance, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, underscored the importance of planning ahead. However, he noted that such planning has become difficult given the uncertainty of the current environment.
According to the Prime Minister, “The pandemic is far from over but we cannot keep our borders closed indefinitely. We must quickly adapt to the new realities ushered in by the pandemic and facilitate the resumption of economic activity.”
Dr Mitchell said government is pressing ahead with the phased reopening of the local economy in a careful and deliberate manner. He said, “It is important therefore that we strike the right balance between opening up to support economic recovery and employment, and ensuring that we safeguard the health of our people.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted a prolonged period of solid macroeconomic performance and the Prime Minister acknowledged that Grenada will experience a sharp decline in economic performance this year, due largely to a reduction in revenue. However, he also noted that, “It is an opportunity for us to rethink and redefine how we go forward. We must continue to work together to recover and rebuild our economy.”
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