The ceremonial opening of the Ninth Parliament on Wednesday 27 March will pave the way for Finance Minister Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell to present Government 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure by mid-April.
Minister of Economic Development, Trade, Planning and Cooperatives, Hon. Oliver Joseph, has given the assurance the budget will be presented in accordance with Constitution which stipulates that it must be done no later than 30 April of each year.
Minister Joseph said the relevant consultations will be undertaken with key stakeholders and sectoral organisations, as part of the preparations for the presentation. He said that with three months already into the year, Joseph said that the upcoming Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure will be a Holding Budget to cover until December.
“There will be consultations with various organizations and interest groups, which will be consulted on their interest, so that we can have a broad perspective going forward”, he said.“The Budget will come with certain measures on the recurrent side that will take us to the end of the year and preparation for the 2014 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure will start in September”, he added.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has also added his voice to the debate, saying that the Budget will take into account three key issues — the facilitation of Private Sector Investment, Tourism Enhancement, and Youth and Education Development.
He said according to a news release from the Government Information Service, that emphasis will also be focused on an efficient Social Safety Net Program that will assist those who cannot help themselves. This he points out is being done in tough economic times, when recurrent expenditure like wages for example, has moved from EC$25 million to EC$28 million in the last four years.