Post-Cabinet Briefing – August 17, 2009
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
August 18, 2009
Government’s Fiscal Analysis for Quarter 1, 2009
Minister of Finance, Dr Hon. Timothy Harris, presented to Cabinet a full overview of the economic and fiscal performance of the economy for the first quarter of 2009. The minister highlighted the fact that his ministry has committed to producing quarterly reports of this nature to help monitor the performance of the economy with technical support coming from the ECCB and CARTAC (Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre).
As per the report, the central government exhibited remarkable improvement for the first quarter of 2009 compared to 2008. A healthy Current Account balance was registered, surpassing the projected balance and reversing the deficit for the corresponding period in 2008.
Dr Harris highlighted that the Overall and Primary Balances for the first quarter reflected noted improvements. Compared to the corresponding period in 2008, both balances growing by 116% and 32% respectively.
Despite the impact of the global economic and financial crisis, the fiscal outturn was encouraging mainly due to reduced outlays on recurrent expenditure particularly on Interest Payments and Transfers. Savings on Capital Expenditure also contributed to the improved performance.
Additional Lands for Agriculture Development
Minister of Agriculture, Hon Cedric Liburd, brought before Cabinet his ministry’s request for an additional 170 acres of land to further empower local farmers and grow the agricultural sector. These additional agricultural lands are spread over some twenty (20) sugar cane fields in three major farming locations: Wingfield Estate area (Old Road), Whites area (Cayon), and Sir Gilles area (Sandy Point).
Minister Liburd, in receiving the approval of Cabinet, recalled that 1470 acres of land had been previously approved for farming. The cabinet also requested that the tenancy of farmers occupying lands without formal agreements be regularized so that those farmers can benefit fully from all of the Ministry’s agricultural support programmes.
Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society Stamp Issue
Cabinet approved the request of the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society for the issue of two denominations of stamp to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Society. Further details on this matter can be acquired from the Society.
Basseterre Valley National Park Project
The Basseterre Valley National Park Project is a project geared towards the rehabilitation and management of the Basseterre Valley. The project has been facilitated under the Global Environment Facility ““ Integrated Watershed and Coastal Area Management Project (GEF ““IWCAM) which is a regional project designed to protect watersheds and coastal areas. The Basseterre Valley National Park Project commenced in 2008 and is expected to be completed by 2010.
Today, Cabinet approved an official project steering committee to lead in the full implementation of the project. The committee was designed to be broad-based and resourceful, and consists of public sector, private sector and civil society leaders.
Minister responsible for the Project, Dr Hon Asim Martin, reminded the Cabinet how important the project was to protecting the watershed area created by the Basseterre Valley. He said that the watershed area supplies millions of gallons of water to the entire town of Basseterre.