Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 08, 2017 (SKNIS)—On Monday, February 06, the formal meeting of the Cabinet took place. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
1. Cabinet established an inter-ministerial team to address matters of international trade and related matters of public health. The team included representatives from the Ministry of International Trade, Department of Customs and Excise, Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Ministry of Health.
2. Cabinet was updated with imminent plans for the hosting of the National Crime Reduction Symposium. This crime reduction symposium will be held on the 09th February, 2017, with a wide cross-section of persons. Over 200 plus citizens and residents have been invited to participate in the symposium. The objective at the end of the day will be to see how the various societal actors can make a contribution towards crime reduction. Members from all walks of life have been invited to attend, including members of government and members of the opposition on both islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, the clergy, the business community, youth organizations and other interested groups.
3. Cabinet discussed the unveiling of its housing programme and determined that Friday 17th February, 2017, was a good day to unveil its Team Unity Housing Solutions. On that occasion, Prime Minister Harris is expected to deliver the feature address, while Minister of Human Settlement, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, is slated to deliver remarks. Cabinet also proposed that the venue for the Housing Programme be at Corner House, Wellington Road, East Basseterre, at 9:30 am.
4. In addition to the government’s housing programme, Cabinet also considered the participation of private actors into the housing programme targeted at the upper income levels.
5. In addition to the construction and unveiling of the Team Unity Housing Solutions, Cabinet was provided with an overview of the HELP programme under which to date over 150 plus persons have benefited with housing repairs. Cabinet noted that this will add to the quality and value of the housing stock in St. Kitts and Nevis. In that regard, Cabinet committed in principle to give support to the making available of additional funds under a HELP Programme. Cabinet addressed issues of modification of the HELP Programme to ensure that priority is given to those persons who had the greatest need, in particular, the indigent.
6. Cabinet considered a proposal from the Ministry of Agriculture for the development of a new Basseterre public market. Cabinet approved the proposal in principle and established a broad-based committee that will address all issues relevant to the construction of the new Basseterre public market including how such a facility will fit into its programme for the rejuvenation of the capital.
7. Cabinet received reports as part of the good governance agenda. Cabinet received an update from the Board of the National Housing Corporation (NHC) regarding its work to date, its vision for the future and its readiness to deal with the launch of the 300 plus housing solutions. Cabinet was assured that the National Housing Corporation was prepared for the launch.
8. Cabinet received audited accounts for the Frigate Bay Development Corporation and committed to its laying in Parliament at its next sitting on Thursday 16th February, 2017.
9. Also, Cabinet considered and approved applications for new projects under the Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) Programme and in that regard Cabinet gave its blessings for several projects to be approved both in the island of Nevis and on the island of St. Kitts.
10. Cabinet approved a number of requests for duty-free concessions by a number of enterprises and in particular granted concessions to a number of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
11. Cabinet supported the appointment of marriage officers. A recommendation was made for the appointment of Reverend Mark Christmas, who had met the necessary qualification for such an appointment, as a marriage officer.
12. Cabinet considered as part of its good governance agenda the education of the public on the rules relating to the functioning of the Parliament.
13. Cabinet examined the programme for the week of activities to mark the second anniversary of the Government of National Unity and made certain refinements.