JIS News

The House of Representatives yesterday (Jan. 16) approved the withdrawal of $2.5 billion from the Capital Development Fund (CDF) to be paid into the consolidated fund, to provide budgetary support for the 2006/07 financial year. The withdrawal was made under the Bauxite (Production Levy) Act.
Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies, explained that the amount represented the second withdrawal from the CDF for this fiscal year, noting that, “withdrawal in the amount of $175 million was made previously to be provided to the Jamaica Bauxite Institute.”
He told the House that as at March 31, 2006 the CDF had in it just under $370 million and between April 1 and October 31, 2006 approximately $2.3 billion was received as a result of the bauxite production levy and deposited into the fund, to bring the total to $2.743 billion.
The Finance Minister, in the meantime, informed that the proposed expenditure for the fiscal year under the Bauxite Community Development Programme covered agriculture, infrastructure, skills training and small business development and “these are all areas to be covered under this fund.”
“The constituencies, which would have benefited or are benefiting from the fund include South East St. Ann, South West St. Ann, North West St. Ann, North West St. Catherine, South West St. Catherine, South West Clarendon and North West Clarendon”.
In the meantime, Leader of the Opposition, Bruce Golding proposed that a board be established to manage the CDF.
“We would like to see a board provided for in law, that would administer the fund, that would consider submissions, requests, applications for projects so that when we go into an area and we disfigure the area, that community can say, now look, we need this level of restoration,” he said.