hails St. Kitts and Nevis debt reduction ‘a landmark milestone’

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 14TH 2012 (CUOPM) – News that the Federation’s debt to gross domestic product could fall below the 100 percent mark is being hailed as a “landmark milestone” by

Amanda Banks, writing for the reputable international financial online company said “Saint Kitts and Nevis is poised to achieve a landmark milestone in its debt reduction efforts, with its debt to gross domestic product ratio set to fall below 100%, from peaks above 200%.”

She noted the recent statement at a Cabinet meeting by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, that following an extensive debt restructuring process the island’s debt had been further reduced from 156% to 131%, and it would likely to fall into double figures in the near term as a result of ongoing budget consolidation efforts.

“In 2009, St Kitts and Nevis had the most significant public debt among its Caribbean peers, at 185% of gross domestic product, and the third largest in the world as a percentage of the economy. Following the introduction of a value-added tax and excise tax reforms in November 2010, and the streamlining of import duty exemptions and the introduction of an environmental levy, the government has managed to make inroads into the debt problem and the International Monetary Fund has consistently reported that the territory is making significant strides towards fiscal consolidation under a 36-month financial assistance programme,” reported under the heading “St. Kitts and Nevis debt on Downward Path.”

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