St. Maarten 2012 budget is signed into law by minister Shigemoto

WEDNESDAY, 11 APRIL 2012 00:02

PHILIPSBURG--The 2012 budget is finally formally a law with Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto signing the document on Tuesday after receiving it recently with Governor Eugene Holiday's signature from the Governor's Cabinet.

The Committee for Financial Supervision CFT has not yet rendered its formal advice on the budget. Government anticipated that that advice will not differ from the positive one received from CFT prior to the tabling of the budget in Parliament in March.

The budget was approved by Parliament on March 22, by the nine votes of Members of Parliament (MPs) supporting the United People's (UP) party/Democratic Party (DP)/Illidge coalition. The five members of opposition National Alliance (NA) and independent MP Frans Richardson did not vote on the budget, opting to leave the General Assembly Hall before they were called on to vote.

The total operating expenses for 2012 are budgeted at NAf. 432.5 million, an increase of NAf. 11.6 million or 2.8 per cent compared to 2011. As required by law, the total operating income and expenses are balanced; the budget has no deficit and no surplus.

Shigemoto and the Finance Ministry are busy working on several budget amendments. The minister and CFT representatives had stated during the budget compilation process that amendments would be necessary for the country's finances to keep pace with local and global impacts.

These amendments are being worked on simultaneously with the preparation of the 2013 draft budget.