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Estimates debate set to begin on March 13

ALBERT BRANDFORD, [email protected]

Estimates debate set to begin on March 13

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THE ANNUAL FIVE-DAY Estimates debate, which is one of the high points of the parliamentary calendar, is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 13 at 10 a.m.

This was disclosed yesterday in the House of Assembly by Leader of the House, MP for Christ Church South, John Boyce.

Speaking on the motion for adjournment, Boyce, who is also Minister of Health, said the draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure 2017/2018 would be laid in the House next Tuesday, March 7, by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler.

Outline plan

The Estimates, regarded as Government’s “real” budget rather than the Minister’s Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, will outline efforts to raise monies to finance its current and capital accounts as well as its borrowing requirements.

In the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, Government had an estimated current revenue target of $2.73 billion, on the accrual basis. On the cash basis, it is projected that current revenue will be $2.64 billion, an amount of 0.9 per cent below the revised estimate of $2.67 billion.

Total expenditure was estimated at $4.39 billion, an increase of 1.6 per cent from the approved amount of total expenditure for 2015-2016.

On the accrual basis, Government’s net operating basis is negative $465.4 million or 0.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The overall fiscal deficit on the Accountant General’s basis is projected at $1.68 billion, or 18.2 per cent of nominal GDP at market prices estimated at $9.26 million.

When converted to International Financial Institutions’ basis, the fiscal deficit is projected at $723.3 million or 7.8 per cent of GDP. (AB)