British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021

Premier outlines slew of plans gov’t has for BVI this year

Premier outlines slew of plans gov’t has for BVI this year

Amid calls for a comprehensive plan to revive the ailing economy and criticisms that the pandemic isn’t being handled well, Premier Andrew Fahie recently outlined a myriad of plans and laws his government will implement in the coming months.

Some of the plans are already in progress while others are yet to come.

The plans include legislative roll-outs, infrastructural development spanning all sectors, and the long-awaited constitutional review.

Speaking in the March 9 sitting of the House of Assembly, the Premier said his government is committed to improving the territory although the COVID-19 challenge exists.

“It is in this regard that I wish to remind this Honourable House and the Virgin Islands public of some of the targets that your government has set for the period ahead,” the Premier said.

Below of a few of these initiatives.

Planned legislation

• Integrity in Public Life Act and Ministerial Code of Conduct • • Procurement Act

• Contractor General legislation and WhistleBlower legislation that has already had their First Reading in the House of Assembly and will be followed by public consultation.

• The Police Act, which already had its First Reading and will go through the public consultation process.

• Amendments to the Customs Act to revise the framework for export tax to generate revenues from exports. The amendment also includes extending the zero-tax on renewable energy equipment for a specific period.

• Due to an expressed demand, the government will be extending the stamp duty waiver for the purchase of property by Belongers. This is being done through a legislative amendment that has already received its First Reading in the House of Assembly.

• Government has plans to implement legislation for the Water & Sewerage Department and Virgin Islands Shipping Registry to become Statutory Bodies. This will help these departments to become more profitable and efficient, marketable and competitive.

• Government has introduced and passed a suite of e-Government legislation that includes but are not limited to the Data Protection Act, Electronic Transfers of Funds Act, Electronic Filing Act, and the Electronic Transactions Act.

• A Virgin Islands Investment Act and a Business Licensing Act 2020 have also been introduced in the House.

Constitutional Review

Cabinet recently approved the framework that will guide the structure of the upcoming Constitutional Review.

The government has also approved the framework to guide the National Development Sustainable Plan initiative. Premier Fahie said this will be the roadmap for the territory’s development.

Government promises to hold public meetings in all electoral districts so residents will have the opportunity to give their input on the National Sustainable Development Plan.

The Fahie administration also has several other plans — outside the realm of legislation — that it plans to introduce this year.


Quote of the Day

Capitalism has been called a system of greed—yet it is the system that raised the standard of living of its poorest citizens to heights no collectivist system has ever begun to equal, and no tribal gang can conceive of.

Ayn Rand
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