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  • Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says the Administration is on course to achieving the 2019/20 Central Government capital expenditure target of just over $72 billion, based on projections to the end of March.
  • Dr. Clarke, who noted that the programmed expenditure for the first nine months of the fiscal year was behind by $10.2 billion or 20.3 per cent at the end of December 2019, said based on adjustments in the second supplementary estimates, “we are highly likely to meet the capital budget”.
  • He was responding to questions from members of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, during Tuesday’s (March 3) first sitting of the two-day meeting at Gordon House, to review the 2020/21 Estimates of Expenditure.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says the Administration is on course to achieving the 2019/20 Central Government capital expenditure target of just over $72 billion, based on projections to the end of March.

Dr. Clarke, who noted that the programmed expenditure for the first nine months of the fiscal year was behind by $10.2 billion or 20.3 per cent at the end of December 2019, said based on adjustments in the second supplementary estimates, “we are highly likely to meet the capital budget”.

He was responding to questions from members of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, during Tuesday’s (March 3) first sitting of the two-day meeting at Gordon House, to review the 2020/21 Estimates of Expenditure.

According to the Government’s 2020/21 Fiscal Policy Paper, the nine-month expenditure totalled $40.2 billion, which was 11.4 per cent lower than the corresponding period for 2018/19.

Dr. Clarke noted, however, that “we were able, in the second supplementary process, to do rotations, and projects that were underperforming, relative to their budget, we took [resources] from them and allocated to projects that were likely to overperform. [As such] we are highly likely to have 100 per cent execution this year”.

The Minister pointed out that achieving the 2019/20 capital budget would mark the second year that this is attained, following a similar outcome for the programmed $66.2 billion expenditure in 2018/19.

“That is a new experience. Achieving capital expenditure targets has not been something that Jamaica has had a lot of experience in. We’re doing that now and it’s a new era,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Dr. Clarke said the $74.2 billion earmarked for the 2020/21 capital budget represents an increase of $2 billion or three per cent above the secondary supplementary estimates for the current year.

He said that included in the provision are several new public investment projects, which have successfully completed the appraisal process for implementation in the upcoming year.

These are the Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, for which $485.8 million is set aside; the Rural Economic Development Initiative II – $100 million; Rural Road Rehabilitation/May Pen to Sour Sop Project – $400 million; Jamaica Integrated Development Project II – $570 million; and Primary and Secondary Schools Infrastructure Project – $1 billion.

Additionally, a $3.4-billion contingency provision has been allocated to finance public investment projects/proposals.

Dr. Clarke further indicated that the Public Bodies capital budget is $78 billion, which will bring the total Central Government expenditure to more than $150 billion, “which is an increase on last year”.

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