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Most of $3m CDB loan already spent

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith. (File Photo from the Premier Smith’s Facebook page)

Nearly a month after Premier Dr D Orlando Smith announced that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) was lending just under $3 million to the BVI, government said most of the funds have been spent.

“Most of that money is already spent because we keep putting people to work and we have not paid all of them. So, by the time we get the little money it’s just like dropping it in a hole,” said Deputy Premier, Dr Kedrick Pickering.

Dr Pickering did not specify how much of the near-$3 million sum is remaining but said: “We still have a little.”

The CDB had offered $600,000 of the near-$3 million figure as a grant, and another $2.25 million was a soft loan for cleanup efforts.

Finance Minister, Dr D Orlando Smith is yet to clarify how much the territory will have to repay the CDB for the loan.

Gov’t funds being drained

Dr Pickering, in the meantime, had lamented this week that paying to remove vessels which overturned during the hurricanes was also draining government funds.

He said: “That’s our responsibility to help to get those removed; especially those that are sunken, and it ain’t cheap.”

“Getting them out of the water is only one half of the story. Getting them out of the country is another… That is consuming literally all the little money that we have to do anything,” Dr Pickerking added.

The Deputy Premier explained during a community meeting in Carrot Bay on Sunday that uninsured vessels that are removed from local waters must be shipped to other countries, stripped of parts, and recycled.

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