Ministry of Finance shapes National Development Strategy

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — The Ministry of Finance (MOF) continues to be a positive driving force to the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis and is committed to seeing greater improvement.

At the 17th Annual Consultation of the Economy on Thursday, (October 2) Financial Secretary, Hilary Hazel stressed the organizations’ desire to formulate the 2015 budget and urged the necessary stakeholders involved to produce meaningful discussions.

“Even with all the challenges that confronts the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the MOF maintains the hope that the 2015 budget can be designed with your [partners] help to sustain Government’s role in stimulating and facilitating growth and social progress,” said Mrs. Hazel. “This we believe can be done in meaningful partnership with the private sector and civil society.”

She further stated that the budget is a vital tool.

“The budget is the most important instrument which authorizes the Government, and the MOF in particular to both collect revenue and undertake expenditure whether on the recurrent or on the capital side,” stated Mrs. Hazel. “Over the years, the consultations have helped to contribute to building partnership consensus and understanding among the different stakeholder groups within our economy.”

The Financial Secretary mentioned work done by the Government for the year thus far and forecasted short term priority areas.

“During the course of 2014, the Government has been busy implementing a wide variety of programmes and projects,” she said. “Some of which were conceived and designed with the input from our social and economic partners.”

“The Government will continue to deepen its emphasis on fiscal and debt sustainability, improving education and skills training and investing in critical infrastructure. It will also continue to support innovation and entrepreneurship, enhance the regulatory and general business environment, and strengthen tax administration and public financial systems in general.”

Hilary Hazel made mention of the IMF in the capacity of the standby arrangement.

“Now that we have completed the standby arrangement with the International Monetary Fund, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to provide the leadership necessary to rise to the challenge of sustaining the gains of the years of stabilization and adjustment,” said Financial Secretary Hazel. “They will do their best to play their part in promoting more broad-based growth.”

The Financial Secretary assured the public that the Government and her ministry will continue to work to improve the performance in the public sector.

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