Friday 4 December, 2020

Trade Minister: Budget measures will transform economy

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon is confident that revenue projections presented in the 2021 Budget on Monday will be achieved.

The Minister made the comment during the American Chamber of Commerce’s (AMCHAM T&T) Post Budget Forum on Tuesday.

Both AMCHAM T&T and the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce expressed concern that the projections by Finance Minister Colm Imbert were “overly optimistic”.

She said while she would be “hesitant” of getting involved as this was not her portfolio, she believes in the projections put forward by Minister Imbert.

“When you’re in a position as we are in, and the rest of the globe is in, you really don’t put in place a budget for today and tomorrow and just wait for the next year.

I want to think that there would be continuous review of where we are, how our revenue projections are coming in… we are in unprecedented times and I don’t think we can close our minds to what we said on the date of the budget and what we will see at the next budget.”

She said there would be continuous review, not only by the Finance Minister, but by all other ministers looking at their numbers, especially for those who have responsibility for revenue generation.

“It has to be more ministerial involvement and not just the Ministry or the Minister having responsibility for where we are with our revenues and expenditure.”

Gopee-Scoon during her presentation lauded the fiscal package as “important and necessary steps aimed at seeking to reset the economy for growth and innovation”.

She pointed to the divestment of gas stations owned by National Petroleum, incentives for small and medium enterprises and opportunities for the manufacturing and construction sectors as some of the measures to transform the economy.

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