BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 9TH 2014 (CUOPM) – Government will continue to subsidize the consumption by the general public of cooking gas during 2015.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said the Ministry of Finance has allocated some EC$5 million to continue to subsidize the cooking gas from the EC$168.2 million allocated to the Ministry of Finance for recurrent expenditure and $13.8 million for capital projects and net lending.
He said the allocation for recurrent expenditure is EC$1 million or 0.6% above the amount that was provided in 2014, while the estimate for capital projects and net lending is in excess of the 2014 budget by $0.6 million or 4.5%.
Dr. Douglas disclosed that the Ministry will use a portion of its allocation to meet the Government’s obligations with respect to interest payments on the national debt which in 2015 is expected to be EC$39.0 million.
He said this is EC$9.1 million below the 2014 estimate as a direct consequence of the comprehensive debt restructuring exercise.
“In 2015, the Ministry will also facilitate pension and gratuity payments of about EC$34.3 million to retired Civil Servants. The consumption of electricity by Government Ministries is projected to be EC$18 million and will be paid by the Ministry of Finance as well as EC$10.5 million for Civil Servants’ medical insurance and insurance on the Government’s assets,” said Prime Minister Douglas during announced during a resolution on the Budget Estimates for 2015 in the National Assembly on Tuesday morning..
He disclosed that capital projects earmarked include the acquisition of software to facilitate Automatic Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and the renovation of public buildings to house the Inland Revenue and the Accountant General’s Departments.
In 2015, the Ministry of Finance will continue to implement and monitor the Government’s Economic Recovery Programme within the context of the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework and the Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy.
The funds that are allocated to the Ministry will be used to enhance border security, to detect and deter money laundering and terrorist financing activities in the Federation, and to optimize the Government’s revenue generating capacity through the enhancement of the tax administration systems.