Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has given the assurance that a budget will be presented in accordance with the island constitutional deadline of April 28th.
“Usually the incoming government will want some time to plan this ceremony; we don’t have the luxury to delay the parliament opening,” Dr Mitchell told the media on Monday. “With us having to meet a deadline in April it means that by April 01st the budget will have to be presented,” he said.
Over the years the annual Government budget was presented during the month of December, however in 2012 the former Tillman Thomas administration presented it in March. The former National Democratic Congress did not approve a budget for 2013 and thus with the constitution mandating that the island’s estimate of revenue and expenditure be approved no later than April 28 of any year, the incoming NNP administration has made it a priority.
“It’s definitely a priority for me and we will work towards ensuring a sustainable one is presented,” Dr Mitchell said. Other top priority areas for the Mitchell administration are the investment climate and job creation. “Job creation is key to the investment climate and we are talking with investors” he said, while claiming that the discussions undertaken so far should not be made public.
The new cabinet is scheduled to be named in a ceremony on Sunday, and Dr Mitchell has indicated that he will carry the title of Minister for Finance.
He told the press that although all his candidates were elected, there will be at least two or three who will not be receiving ministerial portfolio when the Cabinet is announced, and instead will be opting to work only with their constituencies.
“I am aiming to keep it at 11 ministries but there might 12,” he said.
Sunday’s swearing in ceremony for the new cabinet is expected to be attended by a number of regional leaders and friends of the NNP administration. The function will be held at the Grenada National Stadium.
by Linda Straker