TOBAGO RECEIVED $2.283B, 4.3 PERCENT ON THE NATIONAL 2019/2020 BUDGET
Tobago continue to be at the front burner of the national Agenda Finance Minister Mr. Colm Imbert Today has reveal Six (6) initiatives to improve the way of life for the 65,000 plus citizens of Tobago.
These matters discussed by the Honourable Minister of Finance Mr. Imbert is as follows:
- ACCESS TO ADDITIONAL FINANCE:
The Tobago House of Assembly will be allowed to borrow money to finance projects on the island.
Describing this as an historic move, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said for the first time since the formation of the Assembly in 1980, the Minister of Finance has authorised the use of bond financing in the amount of $300 million to fund critical development projects in Tobago based on the creditworthiness of the Tobago House of Assembly.
- ADDITIONAL ALLOCATIONS OF FINANCES GOVERNMENT ENTITIES
The Minister said in addition to that allocation, the island will receive a further $987.1 million for expenditure from various ministries and statutory authorities.
- SELF GOVERNMENT OF TOBAGO
Mr. Imbert said that the Tobago Self-Government Bill is before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament. Two Reports has already been submitted one other is expected in the next couple of months.
The self-governance Bill is expected to be placed on the order paper and brought for debate in the first quarter of 2020.
“The passage of this Bill will serve to loosen some of the financial and legal constraints to Tobago’s development, bring greater predictability to the developmental planning process and confer upon the Assembly greater devolution of powers and provide Tobagonian with greater self-determination in their affairs,” he said.
Mr. Imbert said the construction of the Roxborough Hospital will be completed in 2021 and work has begun on the construction of a new Fire Station in Roxborough scheduled for completion in 2020.
Mr. Imbert has lamented that a new operator for the Magdalena Grand and Golf Resort will soon be engaged and a reputable internationally-recognised brand manager has been identified.
“The vertically-integrated travel and hospitality conglomerate has shown confidence in Tobago as a destination poised for growth and expansion. This brand manager who focuses on packaged travel and resort and brand management will assume operatorship while the Government is undertaking the rehabilitation and outfitting works on the hotel,” he said.
He said upon completion of those works, the hotel will be rebranded under the signature of the operator reflecting that our tourism product is consistent with international standards and will be able to maintain an inflow of tourists and business for the 198-room hotel and by extension the economic development of Tobago.
- INTER-ISLAND TRANSPORTATION
On the matter of inter-island transportation, Imbert said by mid-2020 the passenger and cargo capacity of the Seabridge will be enhanced with two brand new fast ferries.
On the domestic airbridge, Imbert said Caribbean Airlines has provided almost 100,000 additional seats between April and September 2019 facilitated through a wet-lease arrangement between CAL and a Danish Air Transport for two aircraft.
The Development Bank of Latin America is providing technical assistance and financing on the new airport project, Construction work is expected to commence soon with completion in 2021.