A Sitting of the House of Assembly is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday, December 11th, 2018) during which the Government of Saint Lucia will seek parliamentary approval to borrow over $400 million.
The money is being borrowed to help finance the 2018/2019 Budget, to finance the government’s plans to expand sporting facilities, the Hewanorra International Airport Redevelopment Project, as well as roads, schools and housing projects.
According to the parliamentary office, papers are to be laid by the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service, the Minister for Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour and the Minister for Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment.
The first motion seeks parliament’s authorization “for the Finance Minister to borrow the sum of $32.4 Million from the Bank of Saint Lucia Limited (BOSL) to finance the 2018/2019 Budget in the amount of $24.3 million to finance the National Sports Infrastructure Strategy and Action Plan; and $8,100,000.00 to finance the 2018/2019 Budget.”
The second motion seeks parliament’s authorization “for the Minister for Finance to guarantee a loan in the amount of US $100 Million ((EC $271 million) from the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) by the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) for the purpose of financing the Hewanorra International Airport Redevelopment Project.”
The third motion seeks parliamentary authorization “for the Minister for finance to borrow the sum of US $50 million (EC $135.6) from the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the purpose of financing the Road Improvement and Maintenance Programme, the Infrastructure Repairs to Schools and the Housing Development Programme.”
The projects to be financed by the third tranche of borrowed funds consist of US $42 (EC $113.82) million to finance the Road Improvement and Maintenance Programme (Phase IV); US $4 million (EC $10.8) to finance the Infrastructure Repairs to Schools; and US $ 4 million (EC $10.8) to finance the Housing Development Programme.
Meanwhile, the following Bills are down for consideration: Income Tax (Amendment) (No.2); International Trust (Repeal); International Partnership (Repeal); Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation Headquarters Agreement; and Gaming Control (Amendment).
Tomorrow’s Sitting is scheduled to commence at 10:00 a.m.
There will also be a sitting of the Senate on Thursday next week (December 20th), starting at 10:00 a.m.