Saturday, February 24, 2018

PSIP budget to remain at $5b

‘No job cuts in Public Sector’: Camille Robinson-Regis

St Augustine
THE budgetary allocation for the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) will remain at $5 billion for fiscal 2017/2018, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development Camille Robinson-Regis has said.
For fiscal 2017, the sum of $5,022 million was allocated for projects and programmes under the PSIP.
A challenging budget

Of that amount Central Government received $4,443.8 million; local government authorities, $289.6 million; and the Tobago House of ­Assembly, $288.6 million.
“The PSIP was at the level of $5 billion last year. It’s going to be the same level (this year),” Robinson-Regis told reporters yesterday following a pre-budget public forum hosted by The University of the West Indies Institute for Gender and Development Studies in St ­Augustine.
Robinson-Regis said the upcoming budget would be just as challenging as the Government’s last two budgets, but reassured no job cuts would take place in the public sector.
“Given the fact that our income has been decreased so drastically because of oil prices, which has been so since we got into Government, we are faced with challenges and as a consequence of that the budget, which we have been doing over the last two years, has always been challenging because the society will have certain expectations. But the reality will dictate that we have to do things in a particular way,” she said.
Some contracts renewed

“We have made the consistent point that we are not retrenching people. We are not moving in that direction.
“Any persons who have not been re-employed, it’s because their contracts may have come to an end and as a consequence of that we have not renewed certain contracts.
“Other contracts have been renewed, but they ­depend on the priorities of the Government, and we want the popu­lation to understand that very clearly,” Robinson-Regis ­added.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert will deliver the budget before October 30. He hinted an exact date may be announced this week.