Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Four ministries will receive 70.3 per cent of the EC$184,915,470 capital estimates for the 2012 budget.

They are the ministries of Transport and Works; National Security, Seaport and Airport; Education; and Finance and Planning The EC$184.9 million capital estimates for 2012 amounts represents a 4.7 per cent or EC$8.3 million increase over this year’s capital budget as the total national budget has increased year-on-year by 0.7 per cent or EC$7.42 million, to EC$793,911,053.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament on Tuesday that the Ministry of Transport and Works has been allocated 23.7 per cent of the capital budget, EC$74.9 million.

He said that a number of projects have come to maturation in relation to post Hurricane Tomas matters, where temporary works have to be made permanent.

The Ministry of National Security, Seaport and Airport has been provided EC$36.1 million or 19.5 per cent of the capital budget, a decline of 6.7 per cent.

The Ministry of Education will get EC$28.5 million or 15.4 per cent of the capital budget, a 14.2 fall in the approved budget for 2011.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, said that a number of the big capital projects in this ministry have ended.

“And this is why we are seeing some rebalancing in other ministries on the capital side,” he told Parliament.

The Ministry of Finance and Planning accounts for 11.6 per cent of the capital budget, EC$21.4 million or 4.5 per cent less than this year.

Gonsalves further said that two new programmes are included in the estimates while another item has been allocated a significant amount of money.

EC$1.6 million has been allocated for the Financial Services Authority, which came into being after laws passed in Parliament recently.

Gonsalves further said that monies have also been allocated for the establishment of an embassy in Venezuela, hopefully by June Next Year.

The Nutrition Unit in the Ministry of Health has been strengthened to combat the rising trend of chronic non-communicable disease through better nutrition management and that several news post have been created in that regard.

There would be three additional doctors, at the level of registrar at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, bringing to 14 the number of registrars there.

Gonsalves further said that there would be additional staff at the Mental Health Centre, in addition to other parts of the health sector.

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