ROAD TOWN, BVI -- Capital development projects will take priority this year as the British Virgin Islands government continues to make strides towards moving the territory towards stability and growth.
Dr Orlando Smith
In the 2014 Budget Address, premier and minister of finance, Dr Orlando Smith, emphasised that carefully selected projects will focus on stimulating the economy through repairing and constructing modern, efficient public infrastructure. The government anticipates that this infrastructural development will build and support the twin pillar economy and create new employment as well as new business opportunities.
Smith presented the 2014 Appropriation Bill totalling $301,746,000 on January 13 during his 2014 budget address to the territory.
Approximately, $50,000,000 has been allocated for capital development. Some $23,000,000 will come from debt financing while $27,000,000 will come from recurrent balances.
Major works during this budget cycle are to include expansion of the T.B. Lettsome Airport runway and the Cruise Pier, major sewerage works, construction of the Iris O’Neal Clinic on Virgin Gorda, East End Fat Hogs Bay harbour development, construction of a much needed Adina Donovan Home at Spooner Estate along with extensive repairs on all major roads on Tortola and Virgin Gorda as well as Anegada and Jost Van Dyke.
Other areas that have been allocated funding are goods and services, employee compensation, the construction of a Fishing Complex on Anegada and urban development. Statutory Boards and other Government owned companies such as BVI Tourist Board, Health Services Authority and BVI Airports Authority will also see grant-related funding for the year 2014.
Additionally, funds have been appropriated for the completion of a technical vocational school, as well as much needed works to the Elmore Stoutt High School. Provision has also been made for an embryonic social housing programme via the ministry of health and social development.
The 2014 Appropriation Bill, commonly known as the budget, debate takes place over a two-day period at the House of Assembly Chambers.
Following the debate, members are expected to vote on the passage of the Appropriation Bill, 2014. Thereafter, the minister of finance will sign a warrant authorising the accountant general to spend monies contained in the Appropriation Act 2014.