Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 20, 2019 (SKNIS): A wide cross section of the business community in St. Kitts and Nevis is applauding the 2020 Budget of the Team Unity Administration under the theme “Let’s Keep Building a Stronger and Safer Future for St. Kitts and Nevis”, which was delivered by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, on December 12, 2019.

The 849-million-dollar budget provides for the services of St. Kitts and Nevis for the financial year commencing 1st January 2020 and ending on 31st December 2020. Total recurrent, capital and net lending charges on consolidated fund add up to 746, 768, 965 and the total provided by law equals 102, 144,660.

“It was a solid budget and well presented,” said a business executive. “It chronicles the projects in flight and builds a lot on the foundation that has already been laid.”

The business executive also said that it was “a responsible budget” and was impressed by the digital transformation of the economy that the budget allocates for.

During his Budget 2020 presentation, Prime Minister Harris said that “A Broadband Strategy is currently being developed with technical assistance from the International Telecommunications Union and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization.”

The Broadband Strategy will be used to drive “ICT’s in the education curriculum and the widespread use of e-government services, including e-licensing, e-payments, digital crime management and traffic management systems and the expansion of the Closed-Circuit Television to make our streets and communities even safer.”

“I applaud our Private Sector partners, in particular, the telecommunications companies, who have recognized the importance of broadband in our development and continue to invest in fixed and mobile upgrades, such as the latest 4G LTE technologies.”

Several members of the business community said that the budget is “very encouraging” with “lots of good initiatives” that would benefit every citizen. The executives were pleased that it was another tax-free budget, and a surplus budget that would go against the national debt.

“I am pleased to report that due to our disciplined economic management, our fiscal operations for the year 2018 had yet again realized surpluses on all the key fiscal indicators. We achieved a surplus of $306.3 million on the Recurrent Account, 120.9 % above the budget and 247.2 % over the previous year. An overall surplus of $ 59.3 million and a primary surplus of $80.8 million were also recorded. These surpluses were higher than what were achieved in 2017 by 5.4 % and 6.1 % respectively,” said Prime Minister Harris.