Post Cabinet Briefing for May 15-16, 2017

Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 18, 2017 (SKNIS) — The formal meeting of the Cabinet took place on May 15th and 16th, 2017. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, who commends all Cabinet members for their faithfulness and commitment in regularly attending meetings of the Executive to fulfill their mandate to the people.

Cabinet approved concessions for a number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Among them was approval for the reinforcement of the groin at the Old Road Fisheries Complex, which will bring much relief to fishers in the area, thereby helping them to generate income for their livelihood.

Cabinet approved the terms of reference for the construction of a new Basseterre High School, which will be constructed this year. Cabinet received a report from a broad cross-section of professionals on the construction of the new secondary school.

Cabinet considered a paper on Africa produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of a strategy to expand its diplomatic footprint with the continent.

Cabinet approved submissions for a new hotel facility in Basseterre and a new medical school is to be established. Cabinet noted that these two projects will bring about additional economic activity in the construction industry and other service industries.

Cabinet also considered a proposal to facilitate additional transportation links between St. Kitts and Nevis.

Cabinet approved a condominium resort facility for Nevis under the Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) Programme.

Cabinet approved the completion of the membership of the General Nursing and Midwifery Council, which draws on the skills sets of nurses both in St. Kitts and in Nevis.

Cabinet advanced the decision for the electoral reform agenda and gave guidance to the Office of the Attorney General to expedite that agenda.

Cabinet remains committed to ensuring that democracy in St. Kitts and Nevis is preserved by free and fair elections, transparency, accountability and good governance. Cabinet reinforces the point that people must vote in the constituencies where they live. The former policy of registering persons in areas where they do not live will not be tolerated and sanctions will be enshrined against this practice.

Cabinet considered the matter of full incentives on the cost of feed for pig farmers. Cabinet noted that the Ministry of Agriculture had reduced the cost of a bag of feed from 45 to 35 dollars in order to assist farmers in meeting the nutritional requirement of animals and to enhance the viability of their operations. Cabinet has urged the Ministry of Agriculture to inform and educate the national community regarding the benefits of buying fresh produce and to encourage support for local produce in general.

Cabinet discussed the establishment of a public accounts committee and advanced the process in relation to this matter. The government has identified its membership and will propose to the Parliament the establishment of a five member committee comprising members of government and members of the opposition.

Cabinet continued its discussion on the marijuana commission and in that regard considered certain recommendations from the chair, Dr. Hazel Laws, including advice on the methodology, the scope of works, and consideration of a broad-based committee to satisfy the terms of reference.

Cabinet approved the establishment of a secretariat to facilitate the work of the commission in an efficient way.

Cabinet held discussions on the developments relating to the cruise pier and in that regard received a presentation from representatives of the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA).

Cabinet also met with representatives of the taxi associations on May 16 and was apprised of their concerns. It was agreed that further discussions are to be held between the Ministry of Tourism and the representatives to address these issues in furtherance of the national interest.

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