Government heads to Parliament June 6 with adapted budget

POSTED: 06/1/11 12:15 PM

St. Maarten – Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto has reiterated that answers to questions submitted during the debate on developments surrounding the budget for 2011 have been at the Parliament’s Secretariat since May 16. He also confirmed that government will present the adapted 2011 budget to Parliament in a Central Committee meeting on Monday, June 6.
The Minister’s statement was a reply to a press release that National Alliance Member of Parliament George Pantophlet issued early Monday morning, querying when the answers would be submitted especially because of the impending debate and because Shigemoto has requested that questions for the June 6th meeting be sent in writing.
“Over one month after the meeting was adjourned the answers are still not forthcoming. And I suspect that the old political maneuvering is alive and well. It is quite obvious that the intention of the minister of finance is to give the answers on the day of the meeting. This is petty politics and belongs to the past,” Pantophlet said.
Pantophlet has said early he expects MPs from the parties supporting the government – United People’s Party, Democratic Party and Independent Member of Parliament Patrick Illidge – will move to have the debate on the budget in a public general meeting of parliament by June 10 or June 11 because “they don’t want this to interfere with trips abroad which are scheduled for sometime around the middle of June.”
Pantophlet also requested on Monday that the finance minister send Parliament the financial statements from the government owned companies and government controlled foundations that were sent to the Board of Financial Supervision (Cft). He’s also given notice to Shareholder Representative for the Harbor Group and Deputy Prime Minister Theodore Heyliger that he’ll be submitting more questions on the development that will be done on a plot of land next to the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise Terminal. Heyliger’s answers reportedly state that there are plans to build a hotel and casino and that is not enough for Pantophlet.
“It is all about transparency and accountability. Be clearer with your answers next time,” the MP wrote in a press release.

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