A Resolution seeking the withdrawal of $1.938 billion from the Capital Development Fund (CDF), was approved by the House of Representatives on March 20.
Leader of Government Business in the Lower House, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, explained that of the $1.938 billion being withdrawn, $1.786 billion is for payments into the Consolidated Fund to provide budgetary support for the fiscal year 2011/12.
He added that $152 million is also being withdrawn to provide budgetary support to the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) for the fiscal year 2011/12.
Opposition Member of Parliament for South West St. Catherine, Everald Warmington, queried whether bauxite communities would benefit from the $152 million given to the JBI.
In his response, Mr. Paulwell said the $152 million is to be used to assist with normal operations of the JBI, in particular salaries and other operational expenses.
“I appreciate the member’s concern and the issue that has been raised in relation to proceeds from the bauxite levy to be allocated to those constituencies that are affected by the production of bauxite,” Mr. Paulwell said.
“The member is quite correct. We have not had any proceeds in a number of years, but this motion is to try to tidy up some arrangements that are committed up to the end of this financial year. The member would be able to elicit a commitment in the financial year for us to look at the special constituencies,” he added.
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.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter