KINGSTON — Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has pointed out that this is the first time in 20 years that the national budgetary process has been under such scrutiny.
“We are scrutinised by at least three multi-laterals: the IMF, the World Bank and the IDB. This self-imposed scrutiny is ongoing. No longer can we hide things off the Budget, such as, deferred financing, issuing of promissory notes, and hiding expenditure in selected public entities,” he told the House of Representatives, as he closed the debate on the 2011/2012 Budget, yesterday.
Mr. Shaw noted that in the new paradigm, all expenditure is disclosed and that, since 2009, the Government has tabled a complete Budget showing central government expenditure, as well as all major public bodies’ expenditure.
“Jamaica has never experienced open Government as is now being practised,” he remarked.
The Finance Minister said that, on the issue of some liabilities not being included in this year’s Budget, the Government still operates a “cash budget” and, “in this respect, the budgetary process is the same it has been for decades."
By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter