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Government allocates $17.9 million for projects

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Government has allocated $17.9 million for management of projects next year and Opposition Leader Arhnim Eustace has questioned the $5.6 million increase over last year’s figure.

As he responded to the 2007 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure Eustace raised alarm about the increase.

“I hope there are no substitutions,” Eustace said, as he questioned whether or not persons who were currently employed in the public sector were being paid additional monies to be part of management teams for special government projects.{{more}}

Eustace also disagreed with the amount of money that has been allocated to Tourism, Agriculture and Trade Ministries.

Calling these ministries crucial for the development of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Eustace said that he believed that that the monies allocated to these ministries did not reflect their importance to national development.

The estimated total expenditure for the Ministry of Agriculture in 2007 is $20,198,172 which represents 3.2 percent of the overall budget. The Ministry of Tourism has been allocated $30,003,809 which is 4.8 percent while the Ministry of Commerce and Trade have been allocated 1.4 percent of the budget, which is $9,041,258.

Eustace told the house that it was his opinion that these ministries needed to be given a greater injection of funds to make sure that they fulfill their mandates for the development of the country.

The opposition leader also challenged the Minister of Technology to ensure that the developments taking place in Information Technology also spread to the private sector.

“The technology ministry has a responsibility to deal with the private sector also,” Eustace said.

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