Shigemoto submits vision on Cft proposals, looks forward to Monday’s meeting

POSTED: 04/1/11 12:47 PM

St. Maarten – The Council of Ministers (COM) has forwarded a letter dated March 30, 2011 to Dutch Minister of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations Piet Hein Donner with respect to the national 2011 budget. Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto has said he’s also looking for a fruitful discussion with Minister Donner on Monday with respect to the national budget and other matters related to country St. Maarten.

Donner is scheduled to arrive April 2 and will meet with the Council of Ministers on Monday, April 4.

The March 30 letter with accompanied documents is 36-pages long and is in response to Donner’s March 15 letter to Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams. The reply addresses the Compatibility Ordinance, Mandate Regulation and periodic reports. It explains in detail the current state of affairs and efforts by the Board of financial supervision (Cft) and Council of Ministers on coming to a balanced budget.

“The Council of Ministers has responded to the proposals of the Cft and the letter to Minister Donner also explains the Council of Ministers’ position on those proposals. The Ministry of Finance and I have been working with the Cft Secretariat for months in realizing a balanced budget; however things need to be put into perspective and must be realistic. A year ago you can’t have a policy of allowing the budget reserves to be used to cover the budget deficit of the 2010 Island Territory budget along with an advance of 15 million guilders from our share of the division of assets and liabilities from the Netherlands Antilles Government. In 2011, you get the story that St. Maarten needs permission from Holland in order to get the advance on our division of assets and liabilities of the former Antilles. This is double standards and that is not correct way to do business, especially where it concerns the people’s business. I am confident that we will have a balanced budget in the end, but common sense needs to prevail,” Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto said on Thursday.


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