Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) will meet in a two-day retreat to analyse Tobago’s $2.477 allocation in the 2014 budget presented by Finance Minister Larry Howai on September 9.
The retreat takes place at the Magdalena Grand Resort, Lowlands on Thursday 19th September 2013 and Friday 20th September 2013. The Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries will be joined by the Administrators and accounting officers of the nine Divisions on Friday.
The retreat was called by Chief Secretary Orville London to determine the areas of Tobago’s allocation that were under budgeted in Howai’s $61.3 billion budget. Tobago had requested $4.95 billion of which $1.98 billion was for its development programme and $70 million for the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP).
However, the Finance Minister allocated $2.477 billion which was half of the Assembly’s request and 4.03 per cent of the national budget comprising $2,095 billion for recurrent expenditure, $363 million for capital expenditure and $19 million for URP.
London said in a statement that the retreat was necessary so that the Assembly’s proposals could be looked at against their individual allocation. He said it was important for the management of the allocated resources that will bring optimum benefit to Tobago.
“We will be pursuing all the options available to access all the available resources,” the Chief Secretary stressed.
The retreat will also decide on a date for the Executive Council to report to the people of Tobago on how it proposes to deal with the budgetary shortfall.