Minister of Finance Shigemoto aims to present St. Maarten budget by end of January

~ Parliament and Advisory Council informed ~


PHILIPSBURG--The Ministry of Finance is working with the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT to finalize the 2012 national budget, Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto said in a release Tuesday night. The new timeline to present the budget to Parliament is "the latter part of January 2012" to be finalized, at the latest, on March 1.

In the interim, the 2011 budget will be used until the 2012 one has been passed by Parliament and signed into law by Governor Eugene Holiday and Shigemoto. The 2012 budget presented to CFT is NAf.432,549,600, while the 2011 budget was NAf.420,916,597.

"The Ministry of Finance is working diligently to ensure that the systems and processes are in place and lessons learnt in the previous budgets are reflected in the 2013 national budget which I intend to start working on as early as February 2012," Shigemoto said.

The Ministry of Finance is working closely with the CFT on "a few technical adjustments." This process should be rounded off in January and lead "to a positive advice from the CFT."

The minister explained that Parliament, the Governor, Advisory Council, and the General Audit Chamber have been informed that the budget will not be submitted to Parliament by the December 15 deadline due to the ongoing process with the CFT.

"Every effort" is being made by the government and the Finance Ministry to have all processes and systems in place to completely comply with the Law on Temporary Finance Supervision for Curaçao and St. Maarten. The country cannot have a deficit in its budget based on the supervision law.

In the past year, the Finance Ministry and CFT have worked closely to present a balanced budget taking into consideration the challenges that came with the transition from Island Territory in the Netherlands Antilles to country within the Dutch Kingdom.