GRENADA-Government says revenue collection surpasses projection during the first six months of the year

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Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell (File Photo)

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada– The Grenada government says revenue collection during the first six months of this year has surpassed projections allowing the new Dickon Mitchell administration “to address and take some of the fiscal measures we have taken to ease the burden on the citizens of Grenada.

“The mid-year review prepared by the Ministry of Finance indicates that total revenue collected from tax, grant, non-tax revenue that the actual collections are more than the projected,” Prime Minister Mitchell told Parliament as he wrapped up debate on the EC$194 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) Supplementary Appropriation Bill late Thursday.

Mitchell defended his administration’s decision to remove the cap on freight and petrol, saying the move is linked directly to the fact that revenue collection agencies earned more than what had been projected in the 2022 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.

“We are happy that the revenue collections are doing better than projected, and it is because of that we were, in fact, able to address and take some of the fiscal measures that we have taken to ease the burden on the citizens of Grenada as it relates for example, to removing the cap on gasoline to eliminating the petrol tax up to December,” he said.

“It is recognizing that revenue is performing better than projected that we can fiscally and prudently take those measures to help ease on average Grenadians,” said Mitchell, Finance Minister.

“And so, when we took the decision which will be implemented as of October 1 to cap the freight back to 2019 levels to ease the burden on the average citizen, we did so in the context that to date, the collection from the customs department is more than projected, if it was less then it will be far more difficult if not impossible,” he told legislators.

The Mid-year review report of Grenada’s economy, which was among documents laid in the Parliament, noted that revenue collection surpassed projections for the first six months of this year.

“Public finances continue to bolster in 2022 with revenue collections for the first six months exceeding the target and the comparable period of 2021 by EC$62.2 million and EC$67.4 million respectively,” said the report, which indicates that actual gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to be 3.3 percent at the end 2022.

“A primary surplus including grants of EC$58.2 million is estimated for 2022, surpassing the budgeted deficit of EC$34.2 million, while a modest overall deficit of EC$1.6 million is estimated at the end of this year compared to a budgeted deficit of EC$97.9 million,” said the Ministry of Finance report.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Andall says he expects Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Mitchell to be a guiding light in the Parliament to all the members, especially those serving their first term.

Dr. Mitchell was not present at the first regular sitting of the Parliament on Thursday and was described by Andall as the grandfather of the Lower House because of his years of service that began in 1984.

“I am a bit regretful that the Honourable Member for St George Northwest, the father, some may even say the grandfather of the Parliament, is not here to hear this, but I expect him, given his longevity and experience, to be the guiding figure in this house.

“I expect him to serve the example of decency, dignity, and decorum in this House so that the young member from St John can have an example to emulate so that the young member from Carriacou and Petite Martinique can say this is what I want to be like when I am serving my ninth term,” Andall said.

During the period  2013 -22,  the New National Party (NNP) won all 15 seats in the general election, and Andall, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that won the June poll by a 9-6 margin, told legislators that the current situation in which there is an elected opposition brings true meaning to the practice of democracy.

“For the first time in many years, we have what is almost an ideal situation when it comes to democracy in our country. We will have robust opposition for the first time in many years.

“We expect the debates to be maybe even fierce sometimes, but there is one thing I wish to impress on all my colleagues, those on this as well as others on the other side, we are adults, we represent a civilized nation, the eyes of the world are on us, and therefore I implore all of us that even as the debate may rage on let us do so with a spirit of mutual respect and civility.

“There will be little ones looking on, and we do not want them to as,y Lord, this is what parliament looks like, mark me no share; we must set good and proper examples,” said Randall.

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