BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, April 17, 2018 (SKNLP PR Media) — Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris has eluded the transparent legislative controls of the St Christopher and Nevis Foundations Act according to whose stipulations the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) was established. By misusing his ministerial authority as laid out in the Finance Administration Act 2007 Part 4, Sec. 43 (2) that states “The Minister may by regulation establish a SPECIAL Fund,” he duplicated the SIDF’s purpose and has presented the country with the loosely controlled Sustainable Growth Fund.
According to the St Christopher and Nevis Citizenship by Investment (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations that established the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) as of April 1st, 2018, Section 6B was amended to read as follows:
“6B. Establishment and specific requirements Sustainable Growth Fund
(1)There is hereby established a Fund to be known as the Sustainable Growth Fund and the Fund shall be used
a) for funding of school construction and education-related initiatives, including, funding for computers, books, scholarships and bursaries;
b) to mitigate the effects of climate change in St Kitts and Nevis, including preparation for increased hurricane threats, droughts, emergency preparedness, public education, disaster planning and preparedness.
c) to support economic growth in St Kitts and Nevis, including, improve competitiveness, support small and medium-sized business enterprises, support manufacturing and industrial activities, support agricultural diversification and development, support the fisheries sector, support development of financial services, support further development of domestic and export-driven manufacturing, support improvement in ease of doing business and support improvements in technological advancement.
d)for build-out of infrastructure that supports all ports of entry, to repay loans for ports of entry, to enhance the port facilities of the airports and seaports and to support the build-out of roads an utilities.
e)for the development and enhancement of medical facilities of St Kitts and Nevis.
f)to support tourism development;
g)to promote, protect and develop St Kitts and Nevis’ culture and heritage; and
h)to support other sustainable growth initiatives in St Kitts and Nevis.”
The SIDF’s sole purpose for existing was to fulfil every single one of those objectives listed in the amendment document as being the SGF’s role.
With a mere stroke of a pen, Dr Harris found a way to render the SIDF nonexistent because the Foundations Act legislation that was amended by Parliament on December 31st, 2009 does not allow him to do as he pleases with the Foundation’s earnings. This legislation was specifically put in place by the previous St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party administration and does not allow for simply one Minister of Government to oversee the disbursement and expenditure of funds from the SIDF.
The SIDF was established by way of a submission of the Articles of Association of a foundation to the Registrar. The Certificate of Establishment was signed by the Registrar and stamped with the Official Seal.