CFT approves 2016 budget

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PHILIPSBURG – The Committee for Financial Supervision CFT has approved St. Maarten’s 2016 budget. Minister of Finance Richard Gibson said the CFT also commended him for making “significant improvements” in the budget.

Speaking at the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday, April 20, the Minister said he had received a letter from CFT on Tuesday informing him of the approval and mentioned that it had “taken note of the significant improvement to the draft budget of St. Maarten for 2016,” complimenting him for this achievement.

“A clear effort has been made to balance the budget and to comply with the instructions issued by the Kingdom Government. There are a few items that require keen attention and monitoring, but CFT has arrived at the conclusion that St. Maarten’s budget for 2016 complies with the norms described in article 15 of the Kingdom Law on Financial Supervision,” CFT said in its letter to government.

With the approval of the budget, the Minister of Finance said St. Maarten now has access to NAf. 77.6 million for investment in capital expenditures, of which approximately NAf. 35 million was already “in the bank.” He said the difference for investments could be borrowed.

The government has been cautioned, however, that St. Maarten should limit its borrowing as much as possible although it has the right to borrow up to this amount.

“St. Maarten’s capacity to be able to borrow and spend all this money for this year is not there, so I am not concerned that St. Maarten will be borrowing all of this money. To the contrary, I will also take the advice from the CFT in this respect quite seriously and limit borrowing to as little as possible,” Gibson said.