Gov't to provide US$100 million loan to Petrojam

Lorris Jarrett Deputy Financial Secretary for Public Expenditure in the Finance Ministry
The government is to provide a loan of US$100 million or J$12.652 billion to Petrojam as working capital support to assist in mitigating the impact of the United States Executive Order.
The loan is included in the First Supplementary Estimates of  Expenditure for 2017/2018 fiscal year tabled in the House of  Representatives on Tuesday.
Under the US order imposed in August, transactions are restricted with oil rich Venezuela.
Energy Minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley told the House last month that the executive order has stalled payments from Petrojam to the state owned oil company in Venezuela.
This was due to correspondent banks and financiers exercising greater due diligence in fear of penalties under the US move.
Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) is now discussing the revised budget which has been  increased by $90 billion to $805 billion. 
Speaking at Wednesday morning's PAAC meeting, Lorris Jarrett, Deputy Financial Secretary for Public Expenditure in the Finance Ministry, gave a further breakdown of the revised estimates.
A total of $1.5 billion has been allocated for the Cornwall Regional Hospital rehabilitation project, to carry out preliminary works on the Western Children's Hospital and to undertake repairs and maintenance of selected health facilitaties.
This will be financed under a grant from the National Health Fund.
In addition, Mrs Jarrett said $2.277 billion has been reallocated from the contingency provision under the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to other ministries and departments to meet salary and allowance payments to various public sector groups.
"The government is continuing negotiations with the public sector unions with a view to arriving at a settlement before the end of the current financial year. Provision has been made in the revised estimates to facilitate the implementation of the first phase of this wage settlement, consistent with the objectives of the fiscal programme," she declared. 

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