(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Team Unity-led Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has committed to inject another EC$40 million into three programmes and initiatives in the coming months that will stimulate economic activity, while at the same time promote entrepreneurship as well as property and homeownership in the twin island Federation.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, made the announcement earlier today, Thursday, May 17, while delivering the keynote address at the 2018 Caribbean Investment Summit being held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort from May 16-19 under the theme, “Unity in the Age of Division: Emerging Trends of CIPs in an Uncertain World.”
Prime Minister Harris revealed that effective Friday, June 1, 2018, the Government will launch the first tier of an EC$30 million housing programme targeted at Government employees.
“The first tier of EC$15 million would be invested in the Development Bank for lending at 5 percent – the lowest rate in the Federation,” Dr. Harris said. “The aim is to facilitate property ownership in the country and the upgrading of homes up to a maximum of EC$300,000. Beyond this amount, the excess will be negotiated on the Bank’s applicable terms.”
This new housing scheme, which will further complement the government’s existing housing initiatives, is expected to have a multiplier effect on the economy through the creation of more jobs and higher earnings.
Furthermore, the Team Unity Government is expected to launch its Agricultural Developmental Fund on June 1, 2018. Under this programme, EC$2 million will be made available to assist persons who are serious about pursuing a career in the field of agriculture.
Additionally, Prime Minister Harris announced that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved EC$8 million in support of small business development in the Federation, which will “add to the pool of over 650 beneficiaries that had secured affordable financing from the Development Bank under our Fresh Start Programme.”
Under the Fresh Start Programme, the Team Unity Government has helped hundreds of micro, small and medium-sized businesses either to start or expand their operations through access to concessionary funding and technical assistance provided by the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis.