Categorized | National News

Gov’t Seeks to Borrow $33M

The government is set to receive a $33 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to begin a public financial management and monitoring programme which will assist with better tracking expenditure.

State Minister of Finance Michael Halkitis pointed out that the loan has four components.

Beginning with performance monitoring, he listed the mechanisms of the loan and elaborated on them.

“The objective is to strengthen the management the management capacity of the public sector to monitor all projects and programmes more efficiently and effectively,” he said.

“The second component is an investment in strengthening the Department of Statistics. That’s including a new statistics act that is in draft. The third component is the public financial management component. Out of the $33 million, it is estimated that at least $18 million will be used for public financial management. This will involve investment in IT. The final component seeks to upgrade the public procurement system and that is $6 million.”

The IDB loan will be disbursed over five years.

In the first year, the government will receive $4.5 million, another $8.1 million in the second year, $8.5 million in the third year, an additional $5.9 million in the fourth year and $5.7million to round off the fifth and final year.

“It will amortize over a period of 25 years,” he said.

“We will begin to make payments six months after the final disbursement which is five years and six months from now. We will pay in semi-annual installments. The interest rate is a floating rate.”

There are certain conditions attached to the loan including the fact that there must be a project implementation team.

While the whole idea is for the government to get more value for money, joe public may be wondering what’s in it for him.

“We don’t have to come back to the public and say that we overspent or went over the budget and need more money,” he said.
”It is a benefit to the taxpayer. It also means that if we can do better administration or monitoring or even saving, we will have more resources available to do more things like National Health Insurance (NHI), healthcare, education, scholarships and many other things.”

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