Cabinet Approves Budgetary Increase To Address Nicole Damage


Cabinet has approved additional expenditure of $6.9 billion (US$80 million) up to the end of the fiscal year, to address the damage wreaked across various sectors from rains associated with Tropical Storm Nicole.
Back from his ‘road trip’ to the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, as well as a tour of seven European cities, Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, made the announcement at the post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House today (October 20).
Minister Shaw explained that half of the funds, some $3.4 billion, will come from the Chinese government under the Jamaica Infrastructure Development Programme (JDIP), which will bring that initiative to about US$100 million. This is up from the original US$60 million that was slated for expenditure this fiscal year. The adjustment has been made due to the new level of damage to the road network, as assessed by the Ministry of Transport and Works.
As it relates to the other half of the additional expenditure ($3.5 billion or US$40 million), the Finance Minister informed that this will come from the bringing forward of other resources from programmes with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and the Inter-American development Bank (IDB).
In total, some $5.8 billion will be spent on roads, with the remainder of the funds going towards health facilities, children’s homes, drain cleaning, infirmaries, Ministry of Education buildings, and livestock and roads under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, he indicated that the $12 billion Nicole repair bill that was initially announced by the Government is likely to increase, as the various sectors continue to carry out assessments, taking into account the continued rainfall across some parishes.
Further details of the $6.9 billion expenditure will be provided in the Supplementary Estimates, which will be approved by Cabinet on Monday, October 25 and tabled in the House or Representatives on November 2.

JIS Social