Details of Oct. 23-24 post-Cabinet briefings released

From the Office of the Prime Minister

 

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Formal meetings of the Cabinet took place Oct. 23-24 and were chaired by Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris. 

Here are the salient matters that were discussed at the Oct. 23 meeting:

Security

·         The Cabinet focused on matters of security related to the air and seaports.

Hurricane Recovery and Restoration Efforts

·         The Cabinet also discussed hurricane reconstruction and restoration work, as well as relief efforts that are already underway.

·         $300,000 was earmarked to expedite the recovery of the agriculture and fisheries sector. The relief funds would be allocated, inter alia, to providing important supplies to crop and livestock farmers.

·         It was decided that a portion of these funds would be allocated to private contractors who are assisting in reconstruction efforts to repair badly eroded roads from Tabernacle to Harris and Old Road to Belmont, and are also clearing roads of fallen trees and debris in those areas. 

·         The Cabinet agreed to prioritize the rebuilding of the Old Road Fisheries breakwater and decided to engage the services of ADeB Consultants Ltd. to provide an engineering design for the structure. 

·         Duty-free concessions were approved for the benefit of fisherfolks who suffered losses during the hurricanes.

Housing

·         The Cabinet received an update on the progress of the housing sector’s recovery. Regarding the duty-free concessions on the purchase or importation of building materials to repair damages to residential properties, the Ministry of Finance has begun processing applications, and, of the claims processed so far, most have been approved.  Moreover, to further expedite the processing of applications, the Ministry of Finance has engaged several private contractors to supplement the efforts of our building inspectors. This programme will continue until the end of March 2018.        

·         It was agreed that the Cabinet would encourage private developers to build more houses in an effort to add to the residential stock and provide more options to the public.

Federal Youth Policy

·         The Cabinet approved the Federal Youth Policy, which outlines priority areas such as economic participation, safety and security, protection, health and wellbeing, and development and nation-building. The next step is for the Federal Youth Policy to be tabled in Parliament.

Here are the salient matters that were discussed at the Oct. 24 meeting:

  • The Cabinet discussed and approved 19 submissions for various development projects. The Cabinet decided upon a number of other submissions, which resulted in concessions being given to small and medium-sized business enterprises.  The high number of submissions indicates that people are desirous of taking advantage of opportunities being offered by the government to improve their standard of living and the lives of their employees.
  • The Cabinet approved the date for Discounted VAT Rate Day 2017, which is Dec. 15. 
  • The Cabinet also discussed the November opening of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour and the significant impact on job creation, earnings and services in the country.