Port registers loss of US $9 million

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PHILIPSBURG–Port St. Maarten has registered a US $9 million loss, a shortfall Government will have to cover, disclosed Finance Minister Richard Gibson.

The shortfall is partly blamed on two major cruise lines having opted to move away from the country to other ports of call in the Caribbean. Overall, that shifting of itinerary has cost the local economy some NAf. 90 million. Some of that amount represents passenger spending, which stands at some $191 per person.

The recorded loss shows the need for Government-owned companies to submit their financial statements for the previous year to Government by the middle of the current year, Gibson told Parliament on Monday. The same should also be the case for the companies’ investment plans.

Government-owned companies should not show a loss and their investment policies should indicate how projects will be executed. “The plan should not have losses,” said Gibson.

Payment of dividends should be on the agenda for all companies, the Minister said. He singled out Princess Juliana International Airport SXM for not living up to its dividend obligation for several years. “The airport has not been paying dividends under the pretence they have a loan, but they are making a profit, but they are not paying,” Gibson said.

Government-owned companies are also operating “in a vacuum,” with Government as shareholder only learning about the direction of the companies at the annual shareholders meeting. “It is a black hole.”

National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament Rodolphe Samuel questioned how home-porting of cruise ships will help to boost Port St. Maarten’s revenues.

Democratic Party (DP) leader MP Sarah Wescot-Williams queried why Government had to cover the losses of its companies in the country’s budget.

MPs will receive their answers today, Tuesday, when the budget debate in the Central Committee of Parliament resumes in Parliament House at 10:00am.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/62079-port-registers-loss-of-us-9-million

5 COMMENTS

  1. Its not just the loss of 90 Million NFL to the harbour there are people who are dependend on these ships like front street stores, Taxi Drivers, Restaurants& Bar, Beach chair guys, water sport people, food and Baverage companies etc. Government is getting more and more corrupt there is game going on in the parliament People are voting for one party NA is cheating with Sint Maarteners for second time and coliation is done with small party’s whom people did not vote for this whole system is in mess filled with greed, power and Dirty politics.

  2. One of the biggest ports in the Caribbean and it’s running at a loss. Go figure. I truly think there’s nothing that St Maarteners can do right… Endless corruption and waste. Such incompetence.

  3. Now we know that any losses have to be comvered by the taxpayer, may we know where any profits go? You can be sure that it is not the treasury.

  4. The port is running a loss because of very poor management by its long sitting CEO and ofcourse even poorer oversight by the Supervisory Board of Directors, who are usually in on the many schemes being run at the expense, we now find out, of the local tax man!

    Why a loss? How about: the Zebec 10 million dollar pay-out, the 3 million dollar annual Checkmate security contract (increased from USD 850.000), the high interest rate crane Panama loan via family of the chairman of the supervisory board, the Dock Maarten court cases the harbor keeps losing, the real estate it keeps buying which is not their core business, the consultants on payroll, the ghost companies and so forth.

    This all is the TRUE reason its running at a loss. That their is a decline in revenue due to some ships going elsewhere should always be in the plan and reserves made for such scenarios. The cost structure at the harbor is too heavy because of structural mismanagement and poor oversight!! So don’t come with your BULLSHIT!!

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