Premier Fahie said the stimulus plan will serve as the interim framework to guide Government’s social, economic and fiscal response to the immediate and short-term needs of the Territory.
The Premier said that the Financial Secretary will be charged with instructing Ministries, Statuary Bodies and Public Corporations to implement immediate relief packages where necessary.
He added that the Financial Secretary and these agencies will also develop a Phase Two economic and social response programme guided by the Economic Stimulus component of the Policy Paper, which programmes will be submitted to the Minister of Finance within 30 days for presentation to the Cabinet.
The Premier further stated that the Financial Secretary will lead technical discussions with the UK Government’s Financial Technical Team in petitioning the Secretary of State to relieve the Government of the Virgin Islands of its obligation under Section 20 of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management and review theamendment of Sections 25, 27 and 28, to enable the BVI Government to secure the funding necessary to respond to the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic in light of:
- the real impacts and forecasted economic outlook for the BVI,
- the unavailability of grant funding from the UK Government, and
- the impediment conditions that the Protocols for Effective Financial Management pose to the BVI Government being able to finance the immediate relief and economic stimulation programmes on its own.
Other economic related decisions made by Cabinet include any and all funding, aid, assistance, grant, gift or donation, whether monetary or non-monetary, received by or on behalf of the BVI from or through any country or government, person, business, institution, organisation/NGOs with respect to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The economic effects of the pandemic or anything otherwise related to the pandemic, shall be payable into the Consolidated Fund and managed through the Ministry of Finance, in keeping with the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007, the Public Finance Management Act, 2004, and the Audit Act, 2003 to ensure accountability and fiscal responsibility through one single Virgin Islands framework to ensure public accounts accountability, transparency and good governance in the management and auditing of monetary or non-monetary contributions to the Virgin Islands for COVID-19.
The Minister of Finance said he will publicly account for and report on any and all funding assistance received on behalf of the BVI with respect to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to transforming the BVI into a leading regional economy by 2025 through entrepreneurship, innovation and local and foreign investment.