Antigua and Barbuda govt expects over half of USD 75 million loan 

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda- Gaston Browne, outlined the government expects over half of a US$75 million loan from a friendly government by later this month. 

Antigua and Barbuda govt expects over half of USD 75 million loan 
Antigua and Barbuda govt expects over half of USD 75 million loan 

Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda– Gaston Browne, outlined the government expects over half of a US$75 million loan from a friendly government by later this month. 

The loan is to fund the expansion of the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus. The Prime Minister says the government will receive US$40 million of the loan funds to begin the project, which will ensure the campus continues to meet the growing needs of the country and the sub-region.

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The Prime Minister was speaking at an event at Sandals Grande Antigua Thursday evening to honour the honorary graduands at the upcoming graduation for the Five Islands Campus. Sir Richard Richardson of Antigua and Barbuda and Alston’ Becket’ Cyrus of St Vincent and the Grenadines will receive honorary degrees at the event this Saturday. 

The Cabinet considered the ongoing effect on residents and citizens as a consequence of Covid-19. Many households are still struggling to address the financial impact of the pandemic.

It is agreed that those APUA residential customers owing for electricity and water, who are in arrears before and up to December 31st 2021, will have their debts to APUA forgiven. Customers who pay the current month’s obligation, benefiting from this amnesty, will be reconnected by November 1st 2022.

Unpaid property taxes up to December 31st 2021 will also benefit from an amnesty program, provided they pay the current year’s tax.

Residents and citizens with outstanding hospital bills, owed to the Sir Lester Bird Medical Center, and in arrears for more than 180 days, will have their balance forgiven also, under the amnesty program rolled out by the Cabinet.

The junior Minister of Finance reported on the IMF Article IV visit to Antigua and Barbuda. The IMF forecast 6% economic growth in 2022, following a 5% growth in 2021. Despite the Covid-19 Pandemic and the harm caused to all economies globally, the IMF team found the performance to be outstanding. The IMF visiting team addressed the issue of banking and the services offered by these financial institutions. There was a discussion by the banks and noted that their profits emanated from fees charged and not from interest income. The IMF will publish its final report in 10 or more days.

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The All Saints Police Station, having undergone major improvements, is shortly to reopen, the Attorney General advised. The temporary station at Clarke’s Hill will continue to serve the communities of Freemans Village, Sea View Farm, Cashew Hill, Bathlodge, and surrounding communities. The Police were congratulated for patrolling on bicycles since their presence seemingly act as a deterrent to petty theft.