Post Cabinet Briefing for Monday, March 27, 2017

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 30, 2017 (SKNIS)—On Monday, March 27, the formal meeting of the Cabinet took place. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
Cabinet recorded its gratitude to all citizens and residents who attended the state funeral of Sir Probyn Inniss, which was held on the 23rd of March. Cabinet also recorded its condolences to the family and the State on the passing of Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian on 25th March. Sir Cuthbert served as Governor-General of St. Kitts and Nevis from 1996-2013. He will be accorded a state funeral with full military honours. Cabinet thanked the organizing committee for the state funeral, which was headed by Cabinet Secretary Mrs. Josephine Huggins, for satisfactorily coordinating the arrangements relating to the funeral service for Sir Probyn. The funeral arrangements were consistent with the expressed wishes of Sir Probyn’s family and the funeral rites of the Methodist Church.
Cabinet discussed the state of the tourism industry, and in particular, the cruise and stayover sectors. Cabinet further determined that it will hold consultations with actors in the tourism industry in due course.
Cabinet discussed water issues affecting the Cayon Community and the general St. Mary’s and St. Peter’s areas along with Basseterre. Several causes and solutions were advanced and Cabinet urged that vigorous action be taken to bring relief to all areas affected.
Cabinet approved several submissions for concessions to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Cabinet appreciated that the bulk of jobs created in St. Kitts and in Nevis are by SMEs. 75 percent of all jobs in the Caribbean Region have been attributed to SMEs. Cabinet was encouraged by the positive impact of the Fresh Start Loan Programme being implemented by the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis. To date, over 500 applications have been approved for a variety of businesses on both St. Kitts and Nevis. In his 2017 Budget Address, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, indicated that the government had mobilized 35.4 million dollars to assist SMEs in the federation.
Cabinet also discussed matters relating to the legislative agenda and provided direction to assist the legal drafting committee.
Cabinet continued its meeting on Wednesday, March 29, and discussed matters of national security and foreign policy.

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