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Mar 13, 2015

Infrastructural Bonanza Will Continue, Says PM

Dean Barrow

The Prime Minister says that the priorities of the 2015/2016 budget will be in line with those of previous years, and while they have done so much, Belizeans can expect even more progress ahead. In addition to health, education and national security, G.O.B. plans to continue its infrastructural surge started in 2014.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The proposed Budget targets a preliminary Primary Balance of Zero Percent of G.D.P. and an Overall Deficit of two point five percent of G.D.P.  Total Expenditure is budgeted at one point one billion dollars while Total Revenue and Grants are estimated at nine hundred and eighty million dollars. When taken together, this results in the projected Overall Deficit of eighty-eight million which is the equivalent of two point five percent of G.D.P.  To this figure we must add a further eighty-six million dollars for Loan Amortization requirements, and so arrive at the Total Financing Needs of one hundred and seventy-four million dollars. These financing needs will be met from the following sources: disbursement of forty million dollar from loans already contracted with our multi-lateral development partners to fund our Capital III Expenditure Program; disbursement of twenty million dollars in budget support financing from the Republic of China (Taiwan) under the on-going bilateral economic cooperation program; and access to some forty-one million dollars in domestic financing; and a further draw-down of PetroCaribe financing in the amounts of seventy-three million dollars. Mr. Speaker, I freely concede that the proposed Primary and Overall Balances are not optimum in terms of IFI manuals. And we do not slight their advice concerning the need to increase savings in current operations to meet debt servicing commitments, fund local capital programs, and serve as buffers against possible domestic or external economic shocks. But this is, in a good way, a special period. And core fiscal targets, particularly because of the special borrowing opportunities, must for the moment give way to the development imperatives of our country.”

 

There is much more of interest in the budget, and we’ll take a closer look in Monday’s newscast. The budget will be debated on March twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh.

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