(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister)

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The 2019 Budget Estimates Committee Meetings wrapped up Oct. 18, after four days of thorough and in-depth discussions between members of the Federal Cabinet and senior level government officials that will help shape the 2019 Budget.

The meetings began Oct. 15 at the Ministry of Finance Conference Room with presentations made from Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments of various Line Ministries, including the Office of the Governor General, the National Audit Office, the Ministry of International Trade and Ministry of Tourism.

The pre-Budget meetings, which were originally scheduled as a three-day affair, extended into a fourth day after Cabinet, while exercising diligence throughout the entire budgetary process, requested additional information from several Line Ministries in order to ensure the production of a comprehensive 2019 Budget Estimates.

The pre-Budget meetings, which are defacto meetings of the Cabinet, were chaired by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.

Prime Minister Harris said while the meetings were onerous, they were nonetheless fruitful, as they provided the leaders of Government with a comprehensive assessment of the work of the various ministries and government departments during the current financial year.

During these important sessions, Line Ministries presented their plans for the upcoming Budget year, accounted for their performance or lack thereof during the current year and assured Cabinet that their policies, programmes and activities are being pursued with diligence, care and in accordance with the law and best practices.

The Ministry of Finance will now prepare the actual budget for the approval of the Honourable Minister of Finance and Chairman of Cabinet, after which it will be tabled in Parliament for debate.