by Linda Straker
Grenada’s 2018 budget will be presented by Finance Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell on 27 November 2017. It will be the highlight of a joint sitting for both the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament.
Mitchell disclosed the date on Sunday evening during a political meeting held in St Andrew in which his ruling New National Party endorsed Kate Lewis, one of the younger female candidates for the upcoming general election constitutionally due no later than mid-2018.
Describing it as a ‘Big, Big Day’ for Grenada, Dr Mitchell who is also the Prime Minister said that the 2018 budget will be ‘the master of all budgets.’ In 2017 the budget was EC$1,100,578, 144 which represented an increase of EC$99,578,144 from the 2016 Budget, which stood at EC$1.1 billion.
A new session of parliament opened on 20 October 2017 with Governor General Dame Cécile La Grenade presenting the Throne Speech. That speech provided insights into the activities, plan and programmes to be undertaken by government for the upcoming Parliament period.
She said that the overarching focus of government for this session of Parliament will be the economy, society and the environment. Disclosing the 3 priorities areas of government she said that the key priorities of government will be among others, maintaining economic prudence and fiscal discipline.
“Implementing structural reforms to enhance competitiveness, expand economic opportunities, increase employment, and build resilience to both economic and environmental shocks,” she said while point out that the 3rd area will be pursuing strategic investments to advance our socio-economic development in a manner that is people-centred and compatible with environmental sustainability.
In the area of environmental security and sustainability, the Governor General said that among the specific priorities for 2018 will be the implementation of the Blue Growth Master Plan, as well as the Blue Innovation Institute. Furthermore, climate screening of all public investment projects will be institutionalised.
In preparation for the budget, government has conducted a number of consultations with a cross section of stakeholders including the church, the business community, non-governmental organisations, farmers and young people.