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Gov’t to place emphasis on tourism

Tourists showing interest in jewellery.

Tourists showing interest in jewellery.

While government has been putting plans in place to undertake major road works projects, it has also sought to emphasise development of tourism projects.

Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, made this disclosure today while delivering his Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.

“At the same time, Government through the BTII is working to lock in appropriate low cost financing for the construction of the Pierhead Marina Project which we expect to start in the first quarter of 2014,” Sinckler said.

Stressing that so far he had dealt with public sector projects, Sinckler explained: “You would note that on the capital works investment side I have only dealt with public sector projects which we are absolutely certain are at the stage where they can begin in the next 12 months.”

Pointing out that very little money would come from Government coffers, Sinckler said: “Collectively these projects over their life of implementation could bring $1.8 billion in investment capital, very little, if any of which will come directly from central government coffers.”

“It means that if we can work to get these projects started in the next year we would create significant activity in the domestic economy and along with measures I have announced to assist specific sectors our targeted GDP growth of one per cent in 2014 will be achieved and possibly even surpassed. What it will also mean is that those ministries which have direct oversight of the projects must be equipped with the human and technical resources to ensure that implementation is secured within the time-frame set by Government,” Sinckler explained

He noted that it was this particular weakness which was seen across several ministries engaged in major project implementation or oversight.

“In this regard therefore, Cabinet has instructed that specific short term project implementation units be established within these ministries with the dedicated function of managing these projects to completion. Cabinet has also agreed that a specialised Major Project Coordination Team be established to coordinate the implementation of select major projects in Government,” Sinckler explained.

“Additionally the Prime Minister has instructed that monthly project implementation review meetings be held under his chairmanship at which progress reports on all these major public sector investment projects are to be laid and discussed.”

“The reality is that an ill-disciplined fiscal stance by Government however well intentioned will act as a constraint to both the public and private investment and hinder our efforts to get growth early,” Sinckler argued. (NC)




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