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Parliament is to begin next week; PM says there’s three major items to be debated

by: - May 27, 2022
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Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit

Parliament is set to begin next week with parliament debating major topics/ items. During an interview on state-owned-radio, Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit revealed that there are three major items up for debate in parliament.

He stated that apart of the three major items to be debated, there’s two resolutions which the government is seeking parliament’s approval to borrow from the World Bank, and the Virtual Asset Business Bill.

“There’s three major items, there’s two resolutions; these resolutions are seeking Parliamentary approval to borrow from the World Bank and of course there is the Virtual Asset Business Bill. That act is to provide for the registration and supervision of virtual asset businesses from Dominica and from persons in Dominica and other related matters,” he explained.

The Prime Minister expounded on the two resolutions, saying that the first resolution is for the credit facility from the International Development Association World Bank for funding of Dominica’s COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery. He indicated that the government is seeking parliament’s approval to borrow some $81 million Eastern Caribbean Dollars, to help with the recovery efforts coming out of the pandemic.

Hon. Skerrit spoke on the serious negative impacts of the pandemic on the country, and that the government has been able to mobilize funding to safe guard the lives of citizens to ensure they have vaccines, testing kits, ppp equipment, etc. He then discussed the details of the loan.

“The interest rate is three quarter of one percent, so its a highly concessional loan. We have a grace period of ten years, so we won’t start paying for this loan not before ten years. So, it gives us an opportunity to breathe a bit, and then we would start paying for this $81 million at three quarter of one percent per annum,” the Prime Minister indicated.

The Prime Minister noted that this is good news for Dominicans, and that the government continues to have good relations with the World Bank and they have been very helpful with Dominica’s response to the pandemic.

The Prime Minister then spoke on a second facility where they are seeking to borrow from the World Bank some $54 million dollars (US$ 20 million).

“The second facility is a very interesting facility, and that facility is seeking the authorization of a credit facility from the International Development Association for financing our disaster risk management development policy,” he stated.

He explained that these funds won’t come immediately as the $81 million, once the resolution passes in the house, they will then have access to the funds immediately. This is because the government has done all the negotiations, have signed agreements with the World Bank, and now they are seeking permission from parliament.

The Prime Minister noted that this is good news for Dominicans, and that the government continues to have good relations with the World Bank and they have been very helpful with Dominica’s response to the pandemic.