Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe (center), Thomas Jacques, Minister of Agriculture (left) and Charles Jean-Jacques, Minister of Social Affairs
By Joseph Guyler Delva
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) -- Haiti's Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said on Monday that President Michel Martelly has instructed the government to make education, agriculture and environment top priorities and to increase the amount of funds allocated to those sectors, as the Caribbean country's budget for the next fiscal year is being discussed with Parliament.
Lamothe on Monday made a presentation to reveal his government top priorities before a committee at the Lower Chamber, working on the 2014-2015 budget, which will come into force by October 1, this year.
"President Martelly demanded that we give priority to the sectors of education, agriculture and environment in the budget and this exactly what the government is doing," Lamothe told the Haitian-Caribbean News Network (HCNN), shortly after answering questions from lawmakers at the Chamber of Deputies.
"We need to continue to send more children to school free of charge, we need to enhance agricultural production and we need to do more to protect the environment which is a key issue," said Lamothe.
The proposed budget for the next fiscal year amounts to more than US$2.7 billion (122 billion Haitian gourd) and budget for the three above mentioned sectors, as well as funds allocated to the infrastructure sector, have been increased.
However, Lamothe called the attention of Parliamentarians on the need to help diversify the country's sources of income by supporting government efforts to facilitate the creation of new enterprises and attract new investments.
Lamothe also assured lawmakers that the government will continue to manage public funds in a way that serves solely the interests of the population and particularly the most vulnerable.
"We will make sure that every (Haitian) gourd that the government spends is really for the benefit of the population," Lamothe added.
Several other ministers in charge of different departments continue to be heard in Parliament on the proposed budget.