by Linda Straker
As government prepares to ceremonially open the 6th session of the 9th Parliament on Friday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has confirmed that Budget Day will be in November, but the exact date is yet to be set.
“It will be the 3rd or 4th Friday in that month,” he said when asked about the presentation of the Budget following his hosting the weekly Tuesday morning post cabinet briefing. Since taking over the administration of the country in 2013, the ruling New National Party (NNP) has presented its budget the last Friday in November, with the exception of last year when there was a referendum.
As of August, the Ministry of Finance and Energy began preparations for Budget 2018. As part of the budget preparation process, the ministry engaged stakeholders to hear their views on the state of the economy and suggestions for the way forward.
Discussions were held with a number of stakeholder including civil society organisations. churches, farmers, the youth and the business community
Among the priorities of the Government of Grenada for this budget cycle are: structural reforms to boost growth; competitiveness and employment; strategic and targeted investment to promote sustainable development; continued fiscal discipline in a manner that is consistent with the sustainable growth and employment objectives.
Continued support in health care delivery and the agriculture and fisheries sectors to boost investment in domestic production and export are of paramount importance.
Youth and small business development are critical aspects of the focus in 2018 as well as low cost housing and strengthening safety net programmes to protect the poor and vulnerable.
The ceremonial opening of the 6th session of the 9th Parliament will be held at the Trade Centre at 10 am. The highlight of the opening will be Head of State, Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade presenting the Throne Speech. The throne speech is an outline of activities government intends to undertake in the upcoming Parliamentary session.