The House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 22) approved the withdrawal of $1.4 billion from the Capital Development Fund (CDF) into the Consolidated Fund.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding
Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, who moved the resolution, stated at the end of May, the CDF had a total of $1.6 billion.
“So, we are drawing down a substantial portion of what is in the fund now. It will accrue additional funds as the year proceeds. In presenting the budget, we had indicated that there would be a total of $2.129 billion that would be transferred from the fund this year into the Consolidated Fund,” Mr. Golding said.
He also informed that the Government is scheduled to withdraw a further $700 million before the end of the fiscal year.
The CDF is funded from the bauxite levy and was established with a mandate to reinvest some of the returns earned from the industry into community and infrastructural upgrade of communities located in the bauxite belt.
Opposition Member of Parliament for Manchester Southern, Michael Peart, in his comments, asked if any consideration was being given to assist the more than 2,000 persons, who lost their jobs due to the closure of Kirkvine/Windalco plant, and ALPART.
“There was an arrangement or an agreement that each year, there’d be a withdrawal from the CDF (which) would be placed in the Bauxite Community Development Fund, to assist bauxite communities.
“Since September 2007, has any withdrawal been made that has been directed to the Bauxite Community Development Fund and if so, how much has gone into that Fund and how has it been utilised?” Mr. Peart asked.
In his response, Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, informed that for the fiscal year 2009/10 a total of $100 million has been used to undertake community work within bauxite mining areas.