Parliament wants details on Reconstruction Fund

THE HAGUE–The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Wednesday wanted to know the details of the execution of the 550-million-euro Reconstruction Fund for St. Maarten facilitated by the Netherlands.

The Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, under its new Chairman Alexander Pechtold, decided on Wednesday to invite the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK for a technical briefing. This meeting will take place before the Christmas recess.
The suggestion to hold a technical briefing was brought up during Wednesday’s procedural meeting by Member of Parliament (MP) André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party. Bosman said there were many unanswered questions regarding the execution of the Reconstruction Fund and that the Parliament needed clarity.
“The World Bank is being mentioned as the organisation that will carry out the recovery programme. How will this work? Which areas and projects are a priority? What part of the fund will consist of loans and what part will be grants? How will the supervision on the spending of the money be set up?” said Bosman.
As the Parliament, it is important to keep a tab on the funds and to know how they are spent, especially because it concerns Dutch taxpayers’ money, Bosman clarified. He said it was Parliament’s duty to check the execution of the new budget article for Kingdom Relations which deals with the reconstruction of the Windward Islands following Hurricane Irma. The BZK Ministry will be in charge of the Reconstruction Fund, which holds 550 million euros for St. Maarten.
Committee Chairman Pechtold of the Democratic Party D66 suggested during Wednesday’s meeting to ask State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops to provide Parliament with information in writing on his visit to the Windward Islands last week.

Source: The Daily Herald