St. Maarten Finance Minister Shigemoto answers specific questions

POSTED: 05/20/11 12:41 PM

St. Maarten – Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto says that he has forwarded answers to questions that were partly asked in the Parliament meeting of April 21, 2011 or were provided to him in writing by the faction of the National Alliance (NA). The NA had requested the meeting and the presence of the minister at the meeting of Parliament to provide information related to developments surrounding the 2011 budget. The NA sought answers to 102 questions that the faction drafted.

A letter with the answers to questions only related to developments surrounding the 2011 budget was delivered to the Secretariat of Parliament on Monday, May 16, 2011. Questions posed by NA Members of Parliament (MPs) related to the status of appointment of St. Maarten’s representative on the Committee for financial supervision (Cft); the governing program; the county’s liquidity position; the role of civil servants and technical advisors in drafting of the budget and correspondence; the status of annual accounts; and if there were any efforts made by the former NA led Government to clear arrears with creditors.

Other questions related to information about the status of the report on the minimum cost of running government and how the company Versant has been selected to carry out the cost assessment; the 20 million guilder advance on the sale of shares in companies owned by the Netherlands Antilles; an overview of the turnover tax from October 5 to December 31, 2010, and January 1 to March 31, 2011; and the effect of increased gas prices would have on the community. There were also questions on dollarization; the amount and value of the country’s share of the gold tied to the Antillean guilder.

“I fully support transparent and open government. I have kept MPs informed and those who have sent letters with questions have received their information and I have also shared this with the community. I look forward to going back to Parliament when the budget discussion takes place to provide information and address any matters that parliamentarians should have,” Shigemoto said on Thursday.

The Minister added that questions not related to developments surrounding the 2011 budget were not answered.  The Minister of Finance had announced this to the MPs during the April 21 meeting.

“Budget questions will be answered during the meeting surrounding the handling of the first country 2011 budget in Parliament. Other questions, especially those pertaining to the former Director of Resources, can only be handled during a meeting dealing with that specific topic, which has nothing to do with the developments surrounding the 2011 national budget,” Shigemoto explained.


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