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House approves first supplementary estimates

Thursday, December 07, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The House of Representatives yesterday approved the First Supplementary Estimates for the 2017/18 financial year, which reflect an increase of $89.9 billion.

Tabled by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw on Tuesday, the budget for this fiscal year was increased from $715.6 billion to $805.4 billion.

The estimates show an increase in the recurrent (housekeeping) expenses from $493.7 billion to $515.4 billion, while capital (development) spending moved from
$221.8 billion to $290 billion.

Outlining areas which accounted for the increase, Shaw told the House during yesterday's sitting that the Government provided a loan of US$100 million ($12.7 billion) to Petrojam Limited.

The minister noted, as well, that there was an increase in non-debt expenditure of $8.7 billion, which will serve to address a number of critical issues that have come to the fore during the financial year.

Among them is the severe structural damage to roads as a result of heavy rainfall over the past several months. A sum of $2 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to undertake islandwide rehabilitation of parish council, farm and main roads.

Other areas accounting for the increase include national security issues; payment for judgement debts; the West Kingston compensation of $220 million; and a sum of $800 million for the Jamaica Tourist Board.

Additionally, more funds were provided for the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), the Government pensioners' health scheme, as well as the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).