Budget Day is October 1, the day the Petrotrin refinery closes and thousands of employees are placed on the breadline.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert will present the 2018/2019 budget to Parliament at 1.30 pm, the Ministry of Finance announced today in a one-sentence statement.
Imbert is expected to detail a plan on the way forward for Petrotrin, as an estimated 4,300 workers are to be terminated across all business units of the state-owned oil company, with the majority at the refinery due to be wound up on the same day. Government has said the country loses billions yearly due to under-production at the refinery. It has already said Petrotrin will move out of the refining and marketing business and focus on exploration and production in a new company.
It will also likely be another deficit budget. In the 2017/2018 fiscal year, $50 billion was set as expenditure, with revenue at $45 billion, pegged on an oil price of US$52 a barrel, with natural gas at US$2.75 per mmbtu.
In his mid-year budget review back in May, Imbert said the economy was improving because of increased natural gas output in the last quarter of 2017, and announced then an adjustment in the gross domestic product by nine per cent to $168 billion. He said growth rate had improved from -2.6 per cent to -1.0 per cent, and forecast a continued turnaround.