Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 11, 2018 (SKNIS): Formal meetings of the Federal Cabinet were convened on Monday, June 4, through Wednesday, June 6, 2018, all of which were chaired by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. Below is a summary of the key matters that were addressed in those three meetings, as well as the decisions taken on a number of socio-economic matters:
Cabinet was updated by the Chair and Minister of National Security, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, on Phase 1 of Exercise Tradewinds, which started on Monday, June 4, 2018. It was noted to members that approximately 500 persons were participating in the exercise from 20 partner nations and local agencies. It was explained that much of the training exercises would be centred on maritime safety. This phase of the training was expected to end on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.
The Cabinet received an update on the status of crime prevention and crime fighting in the Federation. Among other matters, it was noted that Phase II of the Taiwanese-funded CCTV project was expected to commence shortly and should see improved coverage for rural St. Kitts and parts of Nevis.
Cabinet received key updates from a three-member delegation of the Board of Counsellors for the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), led by Chairman, Dr. Robertine Chaderton, on the matters of Kittitian Hill/ Belmont Resorts Ltd and Christophe Harbour. Both Kittitian Hill and Christophe Harbour have been heavily funded by the SIDF since their respective inceptions in 2007 and 2006.
Cabinet held discussions on a number of upcoming housing projects which are being designed in fulfillment of the Team Unity Government’s manifesto commitments to address the critical, ongoing issue of housing solutions for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. Among these new housing starts is that of the Wellington Road Apartments to replace the dilapidated ones that were constructed since the 1950s.
Cabinet engaged in further discussions regarding the implementation of the promised household support of EC$500 monthly to eligible applicants. The critical data gathering exercise should shortly commence with assistance from an inter-ministerial committee from Social Services and the Statistical Division within the Ministry of Sustainable Development. This programme will be supported by a number of state agencies, including the Social Security Board, in order to verify the eligibility of applicants for the monthly household support that is a Team Unity Government commitment.
Cabinet approved several international tax exchange commitments related to reporting standards, in order to maintain the Federation’s compliance and ranking with global tax compliance agencies.
The matter of the recently announced Agriculture Fund was addressed by Cabinet. It was emphasized that any farmer or fisher should be eligible to apply for assistance under the Fund. In particular, new entrants into the fishing and farming business were encouraged to apply, based on the established guidelines to be issued by the Development Bank. It was noted that the Fund is part grant/ part loan. The loans will be available to eligible applicants at the rate of five (5) percent per annum.
Cabinet granted approval for St. Kitts and Nevis’ hosting of ICT Week, an annual telecommunications conference and exhibition organised by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). The conference is set for the period September 24-28, 2018.
Cabinet also approved a number of submissions for tourism and related projects which would be of socio-economic benefit to the people of our Country and also our overall economy.