Statutory Boards to Aid GOB in Meeting Fiscal Target
While Government is hoping to earn an additional fifteen million dollars via the rise in Environmental Tax, they are also hoping to gain six to seven million dollars through the Statutory Boards. According to Prime Minister, discussions are ongoing to have these boards contribute ten percent of their revenue to the Government of Belize.
“There was a proposal coming by way of the CEO Caucus and then put up to Cabinet I think by my ministry to have all the statutory bodies give over everything to the consolidated revenue fund and then merely get back funding for their budget which the Ministry of Finance would have to approve so this was we thought to do that in one fell swoop without properly examining all the ramifications would not be possible at this time so this is a kind of interim measure. The idea, the rationale behind it is that we feel that in the same way as waste has to be cut in Central Government waste has to be cut at the statutory bodies and nobody the Ministries associated with the particular statutory bodies including the Ministry of Finances those Ministries have not been doing the kind of monitoring, the kind of supervision that must be done and so there is this thought that let everything come into the consolidated revenue fund and we only give back as a budget what these people can justify and that would help to curtail some of the excessive spending.”
“SSB isn’t involved?”
“That is a separate thing because that has as you know a private public sector mix in terms of its board of directors and we don’t treat that as a regular statutory body, it’s like DFC we see it as a kind of development institution so those are not involved at all. In terms of the BTB we looked at what they had made last year and it was $20 million we thought a 10% wouldn’t be too severe a strain but I will say this; if any of the statutory bodies from whom we are looking to take the 10% can show us where they can’t afford it that they are running their affairs properly let me limit it to the BTB. We think the BTB is running its affairs properly they come back and say “listen for marketing we need back that 10%.” we will give them.”
Examples of Statutory Boards in the country are the Public Utilities Commission, Belize Tourism Board, Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), Pesticides Control Board and the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute as well as the Belize Port Authority.