LONDON, July 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Commonwealth of Dominica presented its budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022 earlier this week under the theme “Dynamic Dominica – Building on the Past, Solidifying our Present and Securing the Future”. The $993.6 million budget was presented by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who is also the Minister of Finance. The fiscal year of 2021 saw the Ministry of Finance receive the highest allotment, with around 40 percent of the budget going towards debt service, retirement benefits and salary payments. Education was the second-highest investment with 11.8 percent, followed closely by the health sector, which saw an allocation of 9.2 percent of the budget.
During the budget address, Prime Minister Skerrit spoke about the challenges faced by the island and the international community over the last year. With the world facing one of the greatest devastations of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dominica proved its competency in navigating disasters despite a lack of resources. The small island was ranked as the twelfth lowest for the number of COVID-19 cases, and since the onset of the pandemic, Dominica has recorded zero deaths.
Prime Minister Skerrit also highlighted Dominica’s notable achievements over the past year. This included heavy investment in the country’s healthcare infrastructure with the construction of twelve new health centres and the finalising of Phase II and III of the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital. The development ensures that the island can take on more complex surgeries so that patients do not have to travel overseas for treatment.
Despite the blow to tourism due to the pandemic, Dominica quickly implemented measures to protect the island’s tourism product. Most significantly, this included the Safe in Nature programme that curates safe travel experiences for visitors and tourism stakeholders along with the Work in Nature visa – an initiative to attract digital nomads to work and live on the island for up to 18 months.
Housing was another area highly prioritised by the government. During the fiscal year of 2021-2022, the housing sector saw an investment of $50 million, with several projects underway across the island. The island ensures that these homes are built with climate resilience at their core and that 90 percent of its housing stock is constructed sustainably.
According to Prime Minister Skerrit, around 58 percent of the capital budget in the fiscal year 2021-2022 will be funded by resources from the island’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme. One of these projects includes constructing an international airport expected to be the largest government investment in the country’s history. CBI is also contributing to the growth of eco-resorts on the island, with several currently in the pipeline.
“It is clear that the CBI programme continues to have a positive, life-changing impact on our people and the economy, and indeed justifies its own existence,” noted Prime Minister Skerrit.
Established in 1993, Dominica’s CBI Programme welcomes investors and their families to become citizens of the nation once contributing to either a government fund or through real estate purchase. After successfully passing its multi-tiered vetting process, successful applicants gain second citizenship along with travel freedom to over 140 destinations, the right to live, work and study in the nation, as well as the ability to pass down citizenship for generations to come.
SOURCE CS Global Partners