“This program is not associated in any way, with any taxes whatsoever” said Prime Minister Douglas in response to the Chamber President Mr. Michael Morton.He was at the time speaking to the gathering at the 28th Annual Private Sector Banquet.Dr. Douglas mentioned that the Ministry of Finance for the past years has designed and implemented a program of fiscal management aimed reducing the unsustainable debt level.The organised program is a home-grown set of policies that have been implemented. St Kitts and Nevis as a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have gained their financial support for a program that they fully endorse explained the Prime MinisterThe h program is an US$84 million or EC$226 Stand-by arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF.
“As we work this program and leverage the positive aspects taking intoAccount the ECCB Stabilization Plan in which we participate we shall sustain an environment that is supportive and attractive for foreign investment capital that is required to join forces with local entrepreneurs and investors in helping to grow our economy and develop our nation.” He addedThe Prime Minister noted that the federation of St Kitts and Nevis is in for much greater levels of development but citizens must become assertive and visionary and not let difficult challenges block the progress.
He also stated that citizens should develop positive ways to resolve the difficulties that they are facing not only in the domestic level but within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (EECU) of which the federation plays a dominant role in.He explained that after consultations between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the banking Sub-Committee of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) the ECCB has assume control of the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Bank (ABIB).
This course of action, Prime Minister Douglas who is also the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Banking said, was chosen based on the on-going effects of the global recession, the bankruptcy of Colonial Life Insurance Company and British American Insurance Company, the vital importance of financial stability in the Currency Union and the earlier successful rescue of the Bank of Antigua in which the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank played a significant role as the National is seen as leading and most stable of the Banks in the Currency Union.He mentioned that they are being faced with some very serious challenges at this time but the Monetary Council has established several institutional actions to address these issues in the financial system.