September 28 'Budget Day' in T&T
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Sept 12, CMC - The new Trinidad and Tobago government is likely to present its fiscal national budget on September 28, Finance Minister Colm Imbert has said.
"I am tentatively setting September 28 for Budget Day, but that depends on what I discover when I look at the skeleton Budget," Imbert told reporters after he was sworn into the post, adding "we may have to adjust that date but that's the tentative date".
Parliament may hold its first sitting since Monday's general election on September 21 and Imbert said that the Keith Rowley administration would have until October 30 to pass its fiscal package.
Imbert also noted that the government could spend no less than 10 per cent of the previous budget under the provisions of the Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation Act.
"You have until the end of October to complete the budget so I will have to talk to the public servants and see what the skeleton budget looks like.
"I cannot say anything until I see what is going on, see the state of play. It will be unwise to say anything. The first thing I would like to do is to find out what is the state of the economy, what is the state of the debt what is our fiscal balance, how much money there is in the Exchequer account," Imbert said.
The Finance Minister said he intends to meet with his predecessor, Larry Howai, "and get some views from him on what factors he took into account when he was preparing the budget".