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House of Assembly ensuring a smooth budget process

House of Assembly ensuring a smooth budget process

The House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands is ensuring a smooth process for the passing of the Territory’s 2022 budget.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie presented the Appropriation Bill or the Appropriation (2022) Act, 2021 at the Thirteenth Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly on Thursday, November 11. This Act contains the estimated financial requirements for expenditure on all the services of the Government for the current or succeeding financial year.

Following the presentation, a motion for the second reading of the Bill was proposed and the Premier, being the Minister of Finance presented the annual financial statement, or Budget Address under the theme: ‘Strategically Positioning New Industries with Sustainability and Innovation: Continuing to Improve the Standard of Living with Focus on Education, Small Business, Healthcare and Technology.’

The motion for the second reading of the Bill was read and seconded after the budget address is delivered following which the sitting was then adjourned to a date that is to be announced after the completion of the Standing Finance Committee process.

The Standing Finance Committee is a committee of the whole House with the principal order to examine the Annual and Supplementary Estimates of the Territory in detail and to examine how departments of Government carry out their responsibilities. It is chaired by the Speaker of the House, the Honourable Julian Willock.

Honourable Willock said the committee is currently meeting with departments, statutory body and constitutional agency heads to discuss financial details and plans for the upcoming year.

“After the Standing Finance deliberations, the committee’s report will be presented to the House by the Premier, who shall move that the report be adopted and debated,” the Speaker said. He added, that when the House resumes, the debate will commence and will be confined to the financial and economic state of the Territory and the general principles of Government’s policy as indicated by the Appropriation Bill.

At the conclusion of the debate and the passing of the Bill, it is then to be assented by the Governor, which paves the way for programmes and projects by Government’s ministries and departments to receive funding.
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