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VI Hurricane Recovery Framework for next 'convenient' HoA Sitting

- Details of Borrowing Committee to oversee UK loans revealed
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) had noted in September, that with the United Kingdom (UK) Government agreeing to address Virgin Islands (VI) concerns over the stipulations of the £300M loan guarantee for recovery and development, the territory has met a September deadline to present its plan of action to the UK on the way forward and that plans were in motion to move the process along in the VI. Photo: VINO/File
The Seventh Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly will convene on October 17, 2019 from 10:00am at the House of Assembly Chambers in Road Town, Tortola, where the revised Recovery to Development Plan for 2019-2023 is expected to be made public. Photo: VINO/File
The Seventh Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly will convene on October 17, 2019 from 10:00am at the House of Assembly Chambers in Road Town, Tortola, where the revised Recovery to Development Plan for 2019-2023 is expected to be made public. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The Virgin Islands Cabinet, having established a Borrowing Committee to oversee loans taken under the United Kingdom (UK) Loan Guarantee, will be moving to make public the territory's revised Recovery to Development Plan for 2019-2023, which will serve as the framework to guide the territory’s recovery to development.

This is according to the Cabinet's post-meeting statements of September 18, 2019. At that meeting it was decided that the Plan will be tabled in the House of Assembly (HoA) at the next convenient Sitting. 

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) had noted in September that, with the United Kingdom (UK) Government agreeing to address Virgin Islands (VI) concerns over the stipulations of the £300M loan guarantee for recovery and development, the territory had met a September deadline to present its plan of action to the UK on the way forward.

Premier Fahie noted that through their own initiative, the Cabinet sought to strengthen the development framework by approving a Borrowing and Steering Committee. This he said will further strengthen the plans with transparency, accountability and good governance under his administration.

On the establishment of a negotiating and borrowing committee on behalf of the Government, Cabinet noted that the body will "secure funding under the UK Loan Guarantee, once the terms and conditions are agreed by the GoVI and the United Kingdom Government (UKG), and subsequently approved by the UKG, and all requisite agreements to activate the Loan Guarantee (the “Guarantee”) [to] come into force and for all other borrowings for recovery and development." 

Committee Functions

According to the post-meeting statements, the Borrowing Committee will, "be the sole entity authorised by the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, to source and negotiate loans under the “Guarantee”, pursuant to the implementation of the revised Recovery to Development Plan as amended by the Cabinet and the House of Assembly, and all other borrowing for recovery and development."

They will review the terms and conditions of loans offered by lending institutions to the Government under the Guarantee and all other borrowings as presented to the Minister of Finance; recommend to the Minister, any amendments to the terms and conditions of loans offered by lending institutions under the Guarantee.

All of this must be done within the limits of the Debt Sustainability Indicators and in accordance with the international standards for debt management, as stipulated by the International Monetary Fund Guidelines for Public Debt Management.

Further, the Committee will recommend to the Cabinet, through the Minister, the most appropriate loan or loans with the most favourable terms and conditions under the Guarantee and all other borrowing; and be guided by the Virgin Islands Public Finance Management Act and any other relevant legislation and regulations of the Virgin Islands. 

Appointees to be named 

According  to the statements, the Borrowing Committee will comprise of a Financial Secretary or designate as Chairman, a Permanent Secretary/Premier’s Office or designate, an Attorney General or designate, a nominee by the Leader of the Opposition Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), a nominee representing the Business Community from Premier Fahie, An External regional manager appointed by the Premier, a Representative from the BVI Banking Association and a member from the Premier’s Office as Secretary.  

The HoA is scheduled to meet on October 17, 2019. The Order Paper has not yet been released to the media.

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