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National Budget Day set for January 25


January 25, 2010, has been set as the date for the presentation of the 2010 National Budget.{{more}}

The date was disclosed on Wednesday by Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves, who also indicated that the Estimates of Expenditure will be presented on Tuesday, January 19.

The Budget Presentation will follow on Monday, January 25, from four in the afternoon. The Budget Presentation is expected to be preceded by the Throne Speech from Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne.

Last December, Gonsalves announced that the 2010 Budget had been postponed until “sometime in the second fortnight of January.”

At the time, he said the Budget, also known as the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and the Appropriation Bill, had to be delayed as a result of the “long campaign on the Referendum”.

A similar budget postponement took place in 2005 when the General Elections were held in December of that year.

“There is no real disadvantage to doing this. I just want to assure my fellow Vincentians,” Gonsalves explained at the press conference last month, adding that the law provides for expenditure in the month of January to be one twelfth of what the budget was for the preceding year (2009).

“There is no gap. There is no breach. There is no hiatus. It is simply a matter of ensuring that all the policy issues are sharpened for the year 2010,” said Gonsalves.

He admitted that 2009 had not been a “walk in the park”.

The prime minister said that though economic recovery is taking place in other parts of the world, there remain uncertainties.

Chapter V section 70. (1) of the Constitution of St.Vincent and the Grenadines states that the Minister of Finance has up until 30 days after the commencement of each financial year to prepare and lay before the House estimates of the revenues and expenditure for that financial year. (HN)