DETAILED ACTION PLAN NEEDED FOR NEW FISCAL YEAR
As the Government prepares for the presentation of the 2016/2017 national budget, the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) acknowledges that the past fiscal year presented various challenges for the country and the Government. We appreciate what we view as incremental attempts to curtail spending while balancing economic growth and social stability, in the context of a drastic fall in energy prices.
In the upcoming 2016/2017 budget, AMCHAM T&T believes that the Government should engage in revenue generating measures and pursue aggressive structural reform geared towards cost-cutting and operational efficiency. A detailed plan, with specific action, is needed to address inter alia, institutional strengthening, improvements in the business environment, enhanced public sector efficiency, greater transparency in public procurement and facilitation to sectors which can provide future growth.
Some measures that AMCHAM T&T would like to see addressed in the 2016-2017 National Budget are as follows:
Increase Accountability And Efficiency For A More Favourable Business Environment
AMCHAM T&T also believes that there must be some urgency in articulating a plan of public debt management, as the ballooning of Government to Government financing arrangements and the overdraft utilization at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago over the last several years and the apparent absence of these numbers from our external debt position are alarming. AMCHAM T&T is concerned about the overall quantity of public debt and the absolute size of the obligations that the country can comfortably service in years to come.
AMCHAM T&T is aware of the difficult position in which the Government finds itself given the steep, sudden decline in revenue and the structural inefficiencies which have been developed over decades. We know that a return to sustainable growth will require a collective effort. We continue to encourage the Government to engage all stakeholders, and we reiterate that we remain willing to work with the Government and other stakeholders whenever needed.
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