Last update: 06-Dec-2013 3:46 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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THA holds special sitting on budget tomorrow
When the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) meets in a special sitting tomorrow to discuss the $2.477 billion parliamentary allocation to Tobago, attention will be paid to 19 priority projects to be funded in fiscal 2014. It will be the first time since the THA’s inception in 1980 that such a sitting is taking place.
This year the THA asked for $4.95 billion of which $1.98 billion was for its development programme and $70 million for the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP). However, Finance Minister Larry Howai allocated $2.477 billion—half of the THA’s request and 4.03 per cent of the national budget. The allocation includes $2,095 billion for recurrent expenditure, $363 million for capital expenditure and $19 million for the URP.
Chief Secretary Orville London said the THA will continue to pursue policies to enhance the quality of life of residents, protect the most vulnerable sectors and facilitate development. London and Secretary of Finance Joel Jack have been meeting with various stakeholders, including the Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Tobago District Agriculture Society, Tobago Youth Council, the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association and trade unions on the island, to discuss the revised budget.
The two met with Howai last Friday to discuss the allocation, financing options for the funding gap and the increasing need for data on economic activities in Tobago. Howai later said in a statement that he used the opportunity to “reaffirm my belief that Trinidad depends on Tobago just as much as Tobago depends on Trinidad”.
“Our partnership is equal and therefore the THA can be confident that its objectives for development are high on the Government’s agenda,” he said. The Finance Minister said he welcomed the Chief Secretary’s suggestion that Public Private Partnerships could be considered and said he had assigned a team from his ministry to assist the THA in developing specific projects that could be considered under such an agenda.
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