Government Of Saint Lucia Enacts New Public Debt Management Legislation

- Advertisement -

Castries, St. Lucia – The Government of Saint Lucia has announced the enactment of the new Public Debt Management Act 2023, which took effect on April 1.

Deputy Director of Finance with responsibility for Debt and Investment in the Department of Finance, Vera John-Emmanuel, said the landmark legislation consolidates and modernizes laws to strengthen the management of public debt, ensure prudent borrowing practices and sustainable fiscal management. The new act replaces the National Savings and Development Bond (NSDB) Act and the Treasury Bill Act.

“No longer will we be raising our bonds through parliament utilizing those two pieces of legislation, particularly the NSDB Act. This legislation will instill greater transparency and accountability as it pertains to public debt management. It requires the Government to report to Parliament in terms of the medium-term debt strategy also providing audiences with what the approved borrowings were and how the Debt Management Unit goes on to contract those debts, the terms, and so forth. So much greater transparency will be coming into the Parliament through that piece of legislation.”

Emmanuel noted that the legislation also calls for the establishment of a Public Debt Management Advisory Committee.

“That committee will review all borrowing and advise the Minister of Finance and the Cabinet on the way forward in terms of borrowing.”

The mandate of the Debt and Investment Unit is to provide funding for the budget through loans, bonds, and treasury bills.

“When you go through this piece of legislation it will tell you about raising government funds at a minimum cost subject to a prudent degree of risk. Although we took some parts from the past legislation to incorporate in this one, this piece of legislation adds many more features.  More coverage like overdrafts and payables were not part of the government’s debt stock before. Right now with this piece of legislation, we will be including payables in the government debt stock.”

The Key provisions of the Public Debt Management Act include: transparency and accountability, debt sustainability, risk management, effective debt management practices and a strengthened institutional framework. The Debt and Investment Unit encourages stakeholders and the public to peruse the legislation which can be found on the websites of the Government of Saint Lucia, the Ministry of Finance and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s website.

- Advertisement -