Post Cabinet Briefing for September 22, 2017

Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 25, 2017 (SKNIS): The formal meeting of the Cabinet took place on Friday, September 22, 2017. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. Here are the salient matters that were discussed at that meeting:

The Cabinet met in a post Hurricane Maria session to consider the damages caused to the Country. A preliminary estimate for Nevis suggested that significant damage occurred and could be well in excess of 50 million dollars. On St. Kitts, the damage has not yet been quantified, but the Old Road Bay Road suffered substantial damage. Government documented its appreciation for the hard work of Public Works and local heavy equipment operators who assisted greatly in having some repairs done to enable the road to be used with caution within 48 hours of the storm’s passage.

In light of the catastrophic nature of recent hurricanes in the Eastern Caribbean, the Cabinet commenced a process of critically evaluating Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness with a view to upgrading present protocols. Some of the considerations raised included the more widespread use of underground wiring for utilities; compulsory construction of underground water cisterns in new construction; and general improvements in current building codes to raise the quality and resilience of commercial and residential properties.
The Cabinet considered and approved financial assistance to a number of neighbouring territories that would have suffered considerable losses and damages attributed to the passage of both Hurricanes Irma and Maria. These territories were Dominica, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin/St.Maarten, and Antigua and Barbuda.

The Cabinet heard a presentation from a consultant who has been studying improvement options to the island’s main road in terms of resurfacing, widening and generally making it safer for motorists.

The Cabinet considered the dates for the National Consultation on the Economy, Estimates’ Committee, and the Presentation and Debate of the Appropriations Bill 2018 (Budget) in Parliament.
Cabinet approved a new option for Citizenship by Investment and its legal framework is being put in place immediately.

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