$16.5 Billion to Develop and Improve Infrastructure

Photo: Mark Bell Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw. (FILE)

A sum of $16.55 billion has been earmarked in the 2017/18 Budget for works-related projects aimed at developing and improving the country’s physical infrastructure.

The allocation represents 82 per cent of the $22.8 billion allocated to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, in opening the 2017/18 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 9, said the provision will facilitate the continuation of two major road projects in the financial year.

These are the Major Infrastructure Development Project (MIDP) and the Rural Road Rehabilitation Project II.

A total of $16 billion has been allocated to the MIDP to commence and complete rehabilitation of prioritised class ‘A’ main roads; commence and complete the rehabilitation of 21 class ‘B’ to class ‘C’ main roads; and complete the construction of three bridges.

The project is also to see to the completion of two phases of the employment component in 63 constituencies.

The MIDP ends in September 2018.

The Rural Road Rehabilitation Project II, meanwhile, has been provided with $500 million for the Sour Sop Turn to Chapelton road works contract, which is to be complete within the first half of the upcoming fiscal year.

An additional $167 million has also been allocated to that project to commence upgrading of 14.8km of road network in St. Mary to support agricultural, industrial and tourism activities in the parish.

The Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project was also provided with $246 million for consultancies to conduct an environmental impact assessment, surveying and valuation of the land parcels along the proposed road alignments, and preparing surveyor reports for parcels identified for acquisition.

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