CFT discusses hurricanes and budget during its visit to Saba

During its visit on Wednesday, Febnuary 7, Com­mittee for Financial Supervision (CFI) extensively discussed Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the consequences these had for Saba. The way in which Saba dealt with these storms as a community has made an im­pression, CFT stated. Further­more, it was concluded that the execution of the 2018 budget has several financial challenges. During the CFT visit the Exec­utive Council gave a presenta­tion on the way Saba prepared itself before the hurricanes and how it took action during and after.

CFT Chairman Raymond Gradus

During a visit to Fort Bay harbour, Commissioner Bruce Zagers gave a detailed expla­nation of the recovery plans. CFT also took note of the plans to make the port more hurricane-resistant and un­derlined importance of this matter.

CFT complimented the Ex­ecutive Council on how the community of Saba has dealt with the hurricanes.

Saba is consulting with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK and various departments in The Hague about the use of the funds that have been made available by the Central Gov­ernment.

The Executive Council ex­plained that measures are being taken to ensure financial ac­countability for the spending of these resources.

The various challenges with the execution of the 2018 bud­get were also discussed.

Saba has, for example, request­ed to consider postponement of the repayments on the interest-free loans in 2018, and is cur­rently awaiting the decision.

In addition, a substantial pan of the Island Government’s in­come is incidental, while this on the other hand leads to struc­tural cost, creating uncertainty and risks.

The Executive Council indicat­ed that these and other topics will be discussed at the end of February during a visit to BZK and other Central Government departments.

The CFT visit also marked the introduction to Saba of Chair­man Raymond Gradus, who came in office on July 1, 2017. A previously planned visit in early October 2017 had to be cancelled due to the hurricanes.

The Daily Herald.

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