Financial Secretary Clears Up Mischievous Allegations Related to State Corporations

BASSETERRE (28th August, 2014): Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance ,Mrs. Hilary Hazel has refuted mischievous allegations that the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis plans to borrow millions of dollars to fund ongoing operations of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and the St. Christopher Air and Sea Port Authority (SCASPA), two State Corporations which fall under the umbrella of the Ministry of Tourism & International Transport.

The Financial Secretary explained that Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, in the last session of the House of Assembly moved a Short Term Resolution to seek Parliamentary approval on precautionary funds, by setting new lower maximum overdraft amounts for both the Tourism Authority and SCASPA.

“In the past SCASPA had been granted a facility of up to EC$29 million and that was reduced earlier this year to EC$15 million,” Hazel said. “And, similarly the St. Kitts Tourism Authority was allowed to have an overdraft of EC$8 million and that was reduced to EC$5 million.”

Hazel pointed out that since 2011 both SCASPA and the Tourism Authority have not used their overdraft facilities. However, she explained that these were precautionary facilities to ensure that funds would be available should emergency circumstances require it, particularly in dealing with situations caused by natural disasters or other unexpected working capital situations.

“So in a nutshell this demonstrates the seriousness at which Government has taken the management of the National Debt as it relates to the finances of the central Government and State Corporations. And, all of the numbers speak to a firm continued downward trend in our overall national debt,” Hazel said.

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