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Works Ministry seeks extra $2.79b for infrastructure
Three weeks after the 2013 budget was presented, the Works Ministry is seeking an extra $2.7 billion to do infrastructural work—$1 billion of which will be borrowed from local banks, says Works Minister Emmanuel George. Asked if the extra funding would increase the $7 billion deficit of the 2013 budget, George said it would increase Government’s debt to GDP ratio “but it will be spread over the long term.”
Speaking at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media conference, George said the ministry’s 2013 budget allocation was $749 million. Of that, he said, $580 million already was spoken for with work in the East-West Corridor and other projects and other sums for work on Diego Martin highway extensions, bridges, landslips and other projects, including a $2 million refurbishment at Mille Fleurs.
He said visits to constituencies in Princes Town, Toco, Moruga, Caroni Central, Cumuto, Pointe-a-Pierre and other areas showed much work was needed on the local road network in Trinidad and on collapsed and collapsing bridges and to tend to landslips.
He said the Finance Minister could not give all the funds that were required, owing to revenue constraints, so the ministry had approached Cabinet on September 27 for an additional $2.7 billion to do the necessary infrastructural work over 2013 to 2015 to cater to the demands of the public.
George said Cabinet approved the initiative yesterday. He said the ministry would seek $1 billion through borrowing for 2013 and requested $850 million in each of the budgetary allocations of 2014 and 2015. He said overtures would be made to the local banking sector shortly to borrow the $1 billion.
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