Cabinet recently granted permission for government to access money from the ‘Miscellaneous Purpose Fund’ of the Financing and Money Service (Amendment) Act to fund scholarships for students in the territory.
According to a post-Cabinet statement on its November 3 meeting, eight accepted applicants will receive scholarships from the Ministry of Education.
The ministry will have access to $406,000 from the Fund to provide these students with the scholarships. Additionally, 14 students will be provided assistance with education grants courtesy of the Education Ministry for the 2021/2022 academic year.
The Financing and Money Service (Amendment) Act has been a hot topic since its introduction last year.
Premier and Finance Minister Andrew Fahie had noted at the time that the funds collected from the transactions would be deposited into a fund set aside for initiatives that contribute to national development.
The areas of national development included infrastructure, assistance programmes and any other initiatives subjected to the approval of Cabinet. A major initiative that was considered to benefit from the fund is educational programmes and scholarships which get 20 percent of the proceeds from the tax collected.
Monies collected from the seven percent will not be subject to other deductions after being collected by the Financial Service Commission. Premier Fahie had described the legislation as a very important development in the territory’s financial services. He said it is needed for times when economies across the world are threatened by pandemics such as COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the government has seemingly placed emphasis on education in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Fahie, in his budget presentation last week, indicated public educational institutions in the BVI are expected to benefit from an $8.5 million allocation for school infrastructural upgrades.
The Finance Minister also mentioned his government has started an Asia Scholarship programme between the VI government, the private sector and elite universities in Asia to offer scholarships for students studying in the BVI.