The Ministry of Works and Transport’s contribution to the National Insurance Scheme has been reduced by $425,000 in this fiscal year’s budget, but it does not mean that Government will owe the National Insurance Board (NIB) says Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
Asked by UNC MP Dr Suruj Rambachan if Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan was just accepting the allocation he received and if that means his ministry was going to owe the NIB, Sinanan said, “We will be requesting in the midyear review to ensure we make the necessary contributions.”
Asked how it was that the ministry could be indebted to the NIB when private companies are prosecuted for their indebtedness to the NIB, Imbert said, “He (Sinanan) said they will make requests for payments when required.”
Asked if the Finance Ministry will make similar provisions for private companies when they cannot make payments, Imbert said, “That is not so. The minister said he will make payments when required.”
Asked if someone retires and goes to NIB and were told their contributions had not been paid up, what would be the outcome, Imbert said, Government treats seriously its obligations to the NIB and ministries would be given the necessary funds or have transfers approved for supplementary funding when required.
Asked why would the Ministry of Finance not budget the correct amount for the employers contribution in relation to the number of employees and the quantum required, Imbert said, in any budget the figures are “merely estimates.”
He said, that is why there is the midyear review that deals with shortfalls. During the period prior to the mid year review, he said, permanent secretaries have the authority to request transfers from one viable account to another.