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St. Maarten government to increase capital investment figure in the budget


PHILIPSBURG–Government is looking into the possibility of increasing the amount it allocates for capital investments in the 2013 budget to help complete the long awaited new government building on Pond Island and the purchase of the Emilio Wilson Estate.

Government plans to increase the amount from the some NAf. 30 million in the 2013 budget to NAf. 153 million with its budget amendments in the coming weeks.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said Wednesday this increase in the capital investments was “extremely important” for the country and was within the budgetary norms.

Some NAf. 48 million has been budgeted for the completion of the government building. Half will be used by government to buy out the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) agreement from the building development while the rest will be for the furnishings.

Government is in talks with the General Pension Fund APS about making the needed investments for the completion of the building project, Wescot-Williams told the press during the Council of Ministers Press Conference held in the A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall.

“Hopefully in the not so distant future we will see some movement at the building and also have an idea on how to complete it so departments can start to move into the building,” she said. The moving of the department is “a huge undertaking” and a plan will be developed to regulate it.

The current 2013 budget, approved by Parliament in April, only has some NAf. 30 million allotted for capital investment. That amount would have only covered the purchase of the Emilio Wilson Estate, the prime minister said.

Bron: The  Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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