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$54.6 billion budget for T&T

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

$54.6 billion budget for T&T

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PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – The Trinidad and Tobago government today presented a TT$54.6 billion (US$9.1 billion) to Parliament reiterating its resolve to transform the economy, create jobs and a safer environment for investment.
Finance Minister Winston Dookeran said that while the local economy remains resilient and the financial system is strong “our national economy is still at risk and remains vulnerable to external shocks”.
He insisted that it was necessary for the oil-rich twin island republic to “stay on course in this time of uncertainty”.
He told legislators that the budget was based on an oil price of US $75 per barrel and a gas price of US $2.75 per mmbtu and that the Kamla Persad Bissessar led-five party People’s Partnership coalition estimates a real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1.7 per cent and an average inflation rate of seven per cent.
“The total revenue is projected at TT$47 billion (US$7.8 billion) comprising $18.1 billion (US$3.01 billion) from the energy sector and TT$28.9 billion (US$4.81 billion) from the non energy sector.
“Total expenditure is projected at TT$54.6 billion (US$9.1 billion) resulting in a fiscal deficit of $7.6 billion (US$1.26 billion) or 4.89 per cent of our GDP. The debt to GDP ratio remains sustainable and well within international benchmarks,” he added.
Dookeran, a former Central Bank governor, said that with regards to the financing of the deficit: “We estimate that 52.7 per cent of the financing requirement will be met from domestic sources, while the remainder will be sourced from external sources including multilateral financial institutions.” (CMC)