PHILIPSBURG–Finance Minister Richard Gibson has managed to increase the budget for the coming year by NAf. 20 million more than the amount budgeted for 2016. The total budget stands at NAf. 458,101,671 and is deemed balanced. Government has earmarked some NAf. 74,819,330 for capital expenditures. The current 2016 budget stands at NAf. 438 million.
The draft budget, set to be tabled in the Central Committee of Parliament today, Monday, also reflects the return to full or increased subsidies to foundations and organisations. All ministries and groups supported by Government had to take a 10 per cent cut in the current “shotgun budget.”
The Ministry of Education, Culture Youth and Sports (ECYS) again receives the lion’s share of the draft budget. Its allocation stands at NAf. 122,171,170 for 2017. This represents an increase of NAf. 2,746,057 from this year’s amount.
Parliament and the High Councils of State have been allocated NAf. 18,032,585, an increase of NAf. 1,529,804 from the current amount.
An amount of NAf. 76,192,657 is earmarked for the Ministry of General Affairs AZ, up from NAf. 74,275,917.
Slightly more funds will go to the Ministry of Justice. The current allocation is NAf. 72,752,923 and that will be increased to NAf. 74,187,115.
The Ministry of Finance has been allocated NAf. 54,134,920 for 2017. This represents an increase from the current year of NAf. 49,384,652.
The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA will receive NAf. 53,366,574 in the coming year. The Ministry’s allocation is up from the 2016 earmarked NAf. 52,184,937.
The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) has the lowest allocation of the seven ministries: NAf. 24,854,677. That amount represents a slight increase over this year’s allocation of NAf. 23,990,078.
The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI will have to make do with NAf. 35,161,975. This is a slight increase of NAf. 781,133 over the 2016 allocation.
The draft 2017 budget is available at www.sxmparliament.org.
The parliamentary session begins at 10:00am in the General Assembly Hall, is open to the public and will be live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, Pearl Radio FM 98.1, www.pearlfmradio.com and www.sxmparliament.org.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/62041-draft-2017-budget-up-naf-20m-from-this-year