Trinidad and Tobago’s Finance Minister Colm Imbert will present the first budget of the new Keith Rowley administration on October 5, according to an official statement.
The statement said the Ministry of Finance is in the process of asking business organisations, trade unions and other interest groups, for recommendations on the fiscal measures and initiatives they would like to see in the 2021 budget, “in the context of our current restricted financial circumstances”.Further, it gave the assurance that “all recommendations will be given careful consideration” and that the Ministry of Finance will also host and broadcast a virtual “Spotlight on the Budget and Economy” on Monday September, 28.
Last year, Imbert presented a budget under the theme “Stability, Strength and Growth,” in which he announced an estimated revenue of TT$47.749 billion (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents) and total expenditure of TT$53.036 billion, resulting in a fiscal deficit of TT$5.287 billion.
The budget was based on a projected oil price of US$60 and a gas price of US$3 per MMBtu. But since the presentation of that fiscal package, Trinidad and Tobago, like all other Caribbean countries, have had to take measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) including a lock down of their economies and rising unemployment.
In addition, many countries have reported financial downturn as a result of the pandemic.
Rowley was returned as prime minister on August 10 for a second consecutive term after his ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) won 22 of the 41 seats in the Parliament. The other seats went to the main opposition United National Congress (UNC).