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KINGSTON – The House of Representatives has given the Government approval to withdraw a sum totalling $328.9 million from the Capital Development Fund (CDF) for budgetary support to the Consolidated Fund, for the financial year 2010/11.

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, who moved the Resolution in the Lower House on Tuesday. March 22, informed that the amount to be withdrawn represents the third withdrawal to be made from the CDF this fiscal year.

“I think it is appreciated that with the difficulties that the bauxite industry has been experiencing, the inflows to the Fund has been significantly reduced. Indeed, in our efforts to have the reopening of the refineries that have been closed, so far one has been re-opened. Discussions are now taking place regarding the re-opening of Kirkvine,” Mr. Golding said.

He added that in those discussions, the government had to make “concessions which will significantly and adversely affect the flows into the Fund."

“Therefore, in going forward, we are not going to be able to place the reliance that we have been accustomed to on the Fund for budgetary support, certainly not in the immediate future. We are trying to ensure that, as far as possible, the community programmes, which are an important part of our arrangement with the bauxite companies, are maintained,” Mr. Golding stated.

In his comments, Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Dr. Omar Davies, required more details on the concessions being given to bauxite companies by the government.

Mr. Golding responded by requesting  that the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, and Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson meet with Dr. Davies on the matter.

“I put it that way, because you would understand that there is some sensitivity in relation to it,” Mr. Golding said.

 

By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter