Wrapping up: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks during the winding up of the budget debate in the Lower House at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain, yesterday. —Photo: Curtis CHASE
Budget passed after vote
Anna Ramdass email@example.com
The 2013/2014 national budget was passed yesterday after four days of debate in the House of Representatives.
Tomorrow, debate on the budget will begin in the Senate from 10.30 a.m.
On September 9, Finance Minister Larry Howai delivered the national budget—the Appropriation (Financial Year 2014) Bill, 2013—and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley delivered his reply on September 13.
The budget was passed yesterday when the vote was put to the House.
Members of the Opposition voiced their nonsupport, while Point Fortin MP Paula Gopee-Scoon shouted, “No!”
In wrapping up the debate, Howai said the national budget was not one laced with “election goodies”, as he pointed out there was the upcoming local government election as well as a by-election in St Joseph around the corner, and general elections in 2015.
Howai said the Government was guided by the need for discipline and focus in its economic plans to put country first.
“Our polices and implementation programme have delivered very encouraging results, and it is our firm conviction that staying the course, building on our success and ensuring we deliver a robust economic platform for future development is a most important objective,” he said.
He said the Government’s record of performance would do more for the
nation than any “election budget” could ever do.
Howai said there is need for the economy to be sufficiently diversified to absorb shocks from global crisis, and the country’s roads, sea, land and air transport infrastructure must be sufficiently developed to attract investors.
The growth and development record, he said, must be sustainable.
“We must take a view on development that compels us to ensure that the platform upon which our strategies are rolled out is strong, competitive, responsive and value driven,” said Howai.
“In this budget, we have sought to accelerate a reform of our economic space so that our investment dollars can relate and attract greater value.
“What we are seeking to do is to build an environment where our economic base is diversified enough to withstand any pressure from the global financial market place,” he added.