The New Today
Local News

The EC$1.3 billion budget from Congress

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell – used the platform of Parliament to present his first budget as Minister of Finance

Congress leader Dickon Mitchell has presented his first budget as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Grenada by presenting to Parliament a $1.3 billion dollar package after taking over the reins of office on June 23 from Dr. Keith Mitchell of the New National Party (NNP) administration.

In a speech lasting just over 2-hours, PM Dickon Mitchell told legislators that the budget is intended to put“our country and our citizens on a path towards resilience, empowerment, and growth” and towards “a better Grenada for all of us”.

The Budget is made up of Recurrent Revenue of EC$1.1 billion, total grants of EC$67.8 million, Recurrent Expenditure of EC$741.9 million, Capital Expenditure amounting to EC$313.9 million, a Current Account Surplus in the sum of EC$308.9 million, Principal Repayments (Amortisation) – EC$294.6 million, Primary Surplus (after grants) of EC$124.4 million, and an overall Surplus (after grants) of EC$62.7 million.

He told Parliament: “Mr. Speaker, the 2023 Budget represents a return to the rules and targets of our Fiscal Responsibility Legislation after a three-year suspension in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This demonstrates our Administration’s strong commitment to fiscal prudence, and we will endeavour to continue strengthening our fiscal rules framework.

Government has already sought technical assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group to support our efforts to address the current weaknesses in the framework to ensure alignment with our transformative agenda.

Mr. Speaker, this Government is committed to delivering on our promises. We are prepared to invest in areas that we see as critical in transforming Grenada.

Allow me to compare our 2023 allocations for some key areas relative to the 2022 Budget of the former Administration.

In the area of health and wellness, we have allocated a sum of $114.2 million in 2023 compared to the allocation of $97.1 million in 2022, an increase of $17.1 million. This represents the highest allocation to the health sector in the history of this country.

In education, youth, sports, and culture, we have allocated a sum of $193.9 million in 2023 compared to the allocation of $182.5 million in 2022, an increase of $11.4 million. Again, the highest allocation to the education, youth, sports, and culture Budget in the history of this country.

Mr. Speaker, we have allocated a sum of $54.3 million to the Agriculture and Fisheries Sector as against $40 million by the previous Administration, an increase of $14.3 million. Again, Mr. Speaker, this is the biggest sum of money that has been pumped into this critical sector in recent years.

The previous Administration allocated $0 for the Creative Economy. This vital and strategic area, especially for our young people, was neglected. We have allocated a sum of $3.4 million, inclusive of a Culture and Creative Industry Fund that will provide direct financing support to our creatives.

Mr. Speaker, we have allocated a sum of $143.1 million to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Physical Development, Public Utilities, Civil Aviation, and Transportation as against an allocation of $133.9 million in 2022.

Mr. Speaker, these allocations underscore our commitment as a Government to prioritise these critical areas of development.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that the 2023 Budget is fully financed. Government operations before financing is forecasted to result in an overall surplus of $62.7 million.

An analysis of Government financing in 2023 will show an over-financing of $33.0 million broken down as follows:

* Domestic Sources (Central Bank, Commercial Banks, Regional Government Securities Market). No domestic sources of funding are projected.

* External sources (new loan disbursements less principal repayments).

Financing of EC$33.0 million is projected. One of the key sources of new external loan disbursements is a Budget support operation with the World Bank to the tune of US$30 million or EC$81 million, which will become available during the first half of 2023.

* Other sources (drawdown from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and disposal of assets). No other sources of funding are projected.

Based on the foregoing, Mr. Speaker, Government is expected to generate a financing surplus of $96.2 million.

If you are satisfied with the information provided by The New Today to our many readers, followers and supporters around the world, then you can show your appreciation by making a financial contribution to the effort of our team of dedicated workers.

Giving back is a way of saying thank you for our efforts

Support The New Today