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Tuesday 16 July 2019
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Tobago

Tobago wants $4.72b

Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Finance and the Economy, Assemblyman Joel Jack.
Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Finance and the Economy, Assemblyman Joel Jack.

KINNESHA GEORGE-HARRY

THE THA wants $4.72 billion from Government to manage the affairs of the island for fiscal 2020.

The Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development received the largest chunk of the Budget package - $778.3 million - read out yesterday, while the divisions of Infrastructure and Education $524.7 and $512 million respectively.

The Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation received the fourth highest allocation with $392.6 million.

THA Secretary for Finance Joel Jack gave these figures at the end of the budget presentation titled Advancing Our Development Agenda.

Jack said Tobago is now at a critical juncture in its development and the assembly’s fiduciary responsibility is to chart a course which would take the island’s development to another level and in a direction best suited to the needs and aspirations of its people.

Jack referred to the Comprehensive Economic Development Plan (CEDP) 2.0, which spanned the period 2013-2017, noting that over the course of the next few months, the assembly will be undertaking a detailed review of the initiative to lay the platform for another long-term plan.

He said the administration has developed a draft medium-term Policy and Planning Framework to guide Tobago’s development over the next four years.

Jack said the budget estimates were largely influenced by this framework, a THA pre-budget survey, contributions of various stakeholders at pre-budget consultation meetings and budgetary submissions from divisions of the assembly.

The budget, he said, focused on accelerating economic growth, promoting diversification, job creation, enhancing productivity and fostering innovation and creativity. Jack said the recurrent estimates for fiscal 2020 is $3.26 billion and includes personal expenditure of $917.2 million, goods and services $1.08 billion, minor equipment purchases $96.3 million and transfers and subsidies, $1.17 billion. “This represents an increase of just under $24.7 million from last year’s request.”

He said the estimates for the Development Programme for fiscal 2020 amount to $1.45 billion, an increase of $71.1 million from the fiscal 2019 package. In relation to URP and CEPEP, Jack said $73.3 million and $39.2 million respectively were being requested.

WHAT THA WANTS

Assembly Legislature: $28 m

Office of the Chief Secretary:

$207.2 m

Finance: $264.7 m

Food Production: $294.2 m

Tourism/Transportation:

$392.6 m

Education and Energy: $512 m

Community Development:

$124.6 m

Infrastructure: $524.7 m

Health: $778.3 m

Public Utilities: $38.2 m

Sport and Youth: $98.7 m

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