April 14, 2020 – The Finance Committee of the House of Representatives met Tuesday to discuss the economic stimulus package announced by the Government in response to the impact of COVID-19.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, presented the package to the committee which comprises all members of the House of Representatives.
Dr. Mitchell’s presentation also included the macro-economic context in which the stimulus package will be rolled out and any issues relevant to the fiscal expenditure rules.
The Prime Minister has confirmed that there was general consensus on his presentation, with minor adjustments.
Explaining the significance of Tuesday’s meeting, Dr. Mitchell said, “While we have gone through this process today as a step in appropriating the funds to be expended under the package in the Parliament, nothing prevented the Government from utilising the Contingency Fund as established under Section 22 of the Public Finance Management Act of 2015 and duly appropriated in the 2020 budget under the Ministry of Finance.”
Dr. Mitchell further highlighted that the funds projected to be spent under the stimulus package is more than what was appropriated under the Contingency Fund for the year 2020, hence the steps being taken towards obtaining Parliamentary approval.
The next step in the process will be for the package to be presented in parliament and the next sitting has been scheduled for Friday, April 17, 2020.
The Prime Minister has reassured Grenadians that contrary to some claims being made in the public domain, no parliamentary rules have been broken.
Among the measures outlined in the economic stimulus package are payroll support for hoteliers, restaurants and bars and small travel agents and income support for public buses, taxi drivers, tourist vendors and other qualifying hospitality-based businesses. Dr. Mitchell has indicated that the Ministry of Finance will honour these payments by the end of this month.