Minister Tuitt optimistic about meeting Cft budget deadline

POSTED: 09/27/12 12:05 PM

St. Maarten – Finance Minister Roland Tuitt will chair an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Minister (CoM) tomorrow to deal with the draft 2013 budget which has until October 1 to be submitted to the board for financial supervision (Cft).

The Cft gave the government a one month extension to submit the document which Tuitt indicated was necessary due to an overrun of 100 million guilders because each ministry wanted its programs catered to.

“Ministers are now reviewing to see if they agree with certain cuts that were made and once that process is over we hope to have the final draft by Thursday afternoon so that we can deal with it Friday morning …to then ship it off to the Cft,” Minister Tuitt said.

The draft 2013 budget now stands at 443 million guilders but Tuitt wants to see if it can become a leaner 432 million guilders. Tuitt said that he is optimistic that the government will meet the extension deadline but did not appear convinced.

In its current framework the 2013 budget includes relief packages but Tuitt opted not to divulge too much information on these packages in yesterday’s CoM press conference.

“One of the reliefs will have to do with something in education,” he revealed with Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams adding the budget takes into account plans and programs of the governing accord “Working for the People.”

On the issue of the governing accord, the prime minister said that she expects the governing program to be handled in next Tuesday’s CoM meeting which could eventually lead to its approval and release by mid-October.

The United People’s Party faction in the parliament has urged the government to accelerate the process of releasing its governing program since the National Alliance/Democratic Party coalition passed its 100th day in office more than a month ago.


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