January 24, 2017
Estimates to be approved before Parliament next week

On Friday, January 27, a meeting of the Finance Committee of Parliament will be held to approve the Estimates before they are laid in Parliament next week.

So said Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves yesterday during a press briefing at Cabinet Room.

“The Estimates will be on the floor of the House on the 30th (January) at 9 a.m.,” Gonsalves said.

He explained that this is in keeping with the Constitution, which outlines that the Minister of Finance must prepare the Estimates of expenditure within one month of the commencement of the financial year and have it laid before the House.

Gonsalves added that he intends to have the Estimates approved before the end of the day on January 30.

The following week on Monday, February 6, at 4 p.m., the Governor General will read the Throne Speech, following which the Minister of Finance will present the Budget. The remainder of the week will be reserved for the Budget debate.

The Prime Minister said that after finalizing some details with the director of Finance and Planning and the budget director, he was advised that the Estimates have been sent to the printers.

Gonsalves disclosed that he is also setting up meetings with several entities, as part of his ongoing consultation which he usually does before the Budget.

“I have also given the staff instructions for a meeting to be held on Thursday with the trade unions; I have had one organized for the farmers and fisher folk and also one for the business people, which I usually do in my ongoing consultations before the Budget.”(CM)