This year’s supplementary estimates for the territory’s finances have been amended to reflect the loss of revenue brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Effectively, supplementary estimates mean a revision to the originally approved budget for a given fiscal year.
The latest supplementary estimates presented to the House of Assembly were $48,657,940 for the territory’s recurrent expenditure, $12,928,700 for its capital acquisition expenditure, and $15,383,483 on its developmental expenditure.
These funds will be transferred from the BVI’s Consolidated Fund.
According to Premier and Minister of Finance, Andrew Fahie, the supplements were examined and passed through the House with amendments.
Amendments are necessary
In providing the reasons behind the move, Premier Fahie said the territory, like the rest of the world, is not immune to the ‘major effects that COVID-19 is creating’.
“We have seen where we have to close down the entire territory more than once, and with that, we have lost some great revenue. So we want to make sure that we err on the side of caution by ensuring that the lost revenue forced us also to revise our expenditure so that we can make sure that we cut our cloth to suit our garment,” he stated.
“We made sure that we did not cut any single job in the public service, so we are trying to make sure that everyone stays gainfully employed but at the same time we do have to do more with less. And that is not just a cliché, this is the reality now with COVID-19. So, this exercise is to make sure that our budgeted amendments reflect the reality on the ground in terms of what government has experienced with the loss of revenue and to adjust our expenditures.”
He said his ministry would also meet with all accounting officers to impress on them the importance of prudent fiscal management at this time.
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