St. Kitts – Nevis’ Prime Minister – Dr. Denzil Douglas
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
Macrh 24, 2009 (CUOPM)
The Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) is lauding St. Kitts – Nevis for significant reduction in poverty, low unemployment and improved housing conditions.
Federal Minister of State for Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty said IMF Team Leader, Nancy Wagner, who visited the Federation last week, met with the Federal Cabinet led by Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; the Premier of Nevis, Hon. Joseph Parry and the Financial Secretaries of the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration.
Minister Carty said that the IMF Team Leader commended the government on the achievements outlined in the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Country Poverty Assessment Report.
“She highlighted the reduction of poverty, the relatively low unemployment rate and the laudable improvement in the quality of housing,” said Minister Carty.
He pointed to the significant statistic highlighted in the CDB report of decrease in the level of indigence or extreme poverty from 11 percent to 1.4 percent over the past 8 years alone.
“This the cabinet believes is highly notable as an achievement over the last eight years,” said Minister Carty.
He disclosed that the IMF team discussed in detail the impact of Hurricane Omar of October 2008, especially in the context of the closure of the Four Seasons Hotel in Nevis.
Matters related to the global financial crisis were also discussed as well as the challenges of the Trinidad-based CL Financial Group.
The Federal government was also lauded for its commitment in the closing of the sugar industry, moving to the market-based method of property assessment, strengthening of tax administration, the increased focus on debt management, strengthening of the debt management capacity of the government and the implementing of specific policies to enable access to the EU sugar grant and favourable interest loan funds.