style=”text-align: center;”>Country now authorized to spend up to NAF.77.6 M in capital investments.
PHILIPSBURG:— After years of not having a fully approved budget from the CFT, St. Maarten Minister of Finance Richard Gibson announced on Wednesday at the weekly Council of Ministers press briefing that he received a letter from the CFT on Tuesday where they stated that they have approved the 2016 budget as well as the multi-annual budgets of the country. Gibson said the CFT credited him for his hard work in preparing a balanced budget and one that complies with the instructions given to the country to settle its debts with SZV and APS. The CFT in their letter stated that ST. Maarten has complied with the instructions laid down in article 15 of the Kingdom Charter on Financial Supervision.”
He said besides the approval of the budget, St. Maarten now has the authority to spend up to NAF.77.6 M in capital investment. He said St. Maarten already has NAF 35M in the bank and the remaining sum they could borrow. The Minister of Finance did say that the CFT did caution St. Maarten on its authority to borrow even though they have the right to do so.
The Minister of Finance said he will take the advice of the CFT seriously and borrow as little as possible. Apart from that Gibson said St. Maarten could also refinance the NAF 26M that will be due in October 2016. He said the CFT noted that St. Maarten could refinance this loan on a sinking bond basis.
Gibson Sr. said now that St. Maarten has reached this stage he believes that with continued discipline St. Maarten could overcome its budget issues and focus on other areas.
Newspaper misconstrued statements on TOT says Minister of Finance.
The Minister of Finance Richard Gibson Sr. said one of the Daily Newspapers misconstrued the statements he made last week during the weekly press briefing, however, that same newspaper forgot to mention the statements he made when he first took office and revoked the legislation that were prepared by the former government to increase license plate taxes. Gibson said back then he made clear that the taxes on St. Maarten were too high and he has absolutely no intention to increase or add more taxes on St. Maarten. He said even though he still holds that firm belief that does not stop him from him speaking about the country’s laws.
Gibson said last week he held a meeting with the interim director of PJIAE who wants to implement a 4cents per kilo concession fee on inbound cargo which he believes clashes with the competencies of his Ministry. He said he advised the interim director PJIAE to take another route instead of implementing the planned 4cents per kilo concession fee. He said as far as he know the airport does not have planes or boats that bring in goods to St. Maarten and what they are doing can be seen as implementing import duties on St. Maarten while this will clash with the competency of his Ministry that is over taxes.
Source: St. Martin News Network
CFT Approved 2016 budget and Multi-Annual Budgets of St. Maarten.