SVG

US$80 million for airport to come from loans, lands sale and departure tax

A view of the terminal building under construction at the Argyle international airport (Photo: Facebook).

A view of the terminal building under construction at the Argyle international airport (Photo: Facebook).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 13, IWN — The US$80 million that the Government has to raise for the Argyle international airport this year will come from loans, land sales and departure tax monies.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament on Monday that the Government has identified buyers for US$20 million of state lands.

The money will be paid in four tranches, the first of which will come when the agreement is signed, and then every three months thereafter.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, said that the full US$80 million is not needed at once and the tranche payments will be the same as having the money in the bank

He further said an international commercial bank — which he did not identify — with approval from its country’s export development corporation, has approved US$5.498 million to finance the control tower.

“We’ve reached the stage where we are identifying what we are doing to complete what.”

That same bank has approved in principle another US$3.5 million for equipment.

Of the US$80 million needed for the US$280 million airport, which is slated to be completed this year, close to US$30 will be for equipment, Gonsalves said.

“So, if the numbers seem a little elevated from what they were before, [it is] because it involves more equipment,” he told lawmakers.

Gonsalves said that when he attended the funeral of former Venezuela president Hugo Chavez in Caracas last week, the ALBA Bank said the last US$10 million of a US$50 million loan will be available in about three weeks.

A further US$10 million is expected to come from PetroCaribe.

“And this is where this bill now comes in,” he said of changes to the Airport Service Charge Bill that will give departure tax monies — some EC$4.5 million this year — to the International Airport Development Company.

“But, Mr. Speaker, I have a backup. I am not talking what the backup as yet. As I have functioned in the past, when the fellas think they have De Comrade cornered here, when I am there, I have a backup plan,” Gonsalves said.

He further said there was a possible equity partnership with an country that he did not disclose.

“But, I don’t want to talk about that in any detail. It’s a work in progress.”

Gonsalves said that when he announced in the Budget in January that the government needs to raise US$80 million for the airport this year, some people scoffed.

“And I have seen it plastered all about that they don’t know it is going to be raised. Well, it is not just a question of where there is a will there is a way; but you use your creative juices, your creative faculties, as we have done at every occasion, and we get there. And we are in the final leg.”

He, however, restated the possibility that construction will go into early next year.

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “US$80 million for airport to come from loans, lands sale and departure tax

  1. Oh no! we are not falling for that, we will not take our eye off of everything else that is happening, we are still waiting for Panorama next week.

    I hope GONSALVES has got a better plan than “the money is to be raised from loans, sales of state lands, and the transfer of departure taxes to the International Airport Development Company”.

    Why? because it will take multi millions of dollars every year to operate and service the airport. Also airlines will require subsidizing for flying into SVG, like they did for 20 years to fly into Barbados.

    Where will that money come from? we do not have the white beaches and tourist infrastructure to generate such funds.

    We will also be required to start paying back the numerous loans that have been taken against the airport.

    WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM? WE ARE BROKE, SKINT, INSOLVENT, CLEANED OUT, BUST.

    WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM?

    WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM?

    WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM?

    WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM?

    WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM?

    WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM?

    Posted by peterbinose | March 13, 2013, 12:31
  2. Poor PETER, CRYING like a TRAPPED HYENA about to be slaughtered, because NO ONE is HEARING his LONELY VOICE in the WILDERNESS.

    Hey Peter, how is the “PHANTOM PROJECT” called the International Airport at Argyle progressing?

    This is the same International Airport project that Peter and the other LOUDMOUTHS in the NDP and other SUPPORTERS of SAID PARTY brayed and brayed about it being a PHANTOM PROJECT.

    This is the same PHANTOM PROJECT that Eustace and the NDP said could not be built. Then a week before the general elections of 2010, Eustace held a press conference declaring that the NDP has secured financing for the airport.

    In other words, Eustace said that he would get the money from companies overseas but he cannot tell us the name or the terms.

    After the NDP lost the general elections, it was back to their ORIGINAL stance of not supporting the airport.

    In fact, during his 2011 Independence message, Eustace described the Argyle International Airport as “UNTIMELY AND THEREFORE UNLIKELY.”

    Moreover, do we remember when he was interviewed by Jerry George, an NDP ADVOCATE, and told the nation “FIND IT WHERE.”

    Here is his INFAMOUS interview with Jerry George.

    Is this who the MAJORITY of Vincentians want to become the LEADER of SVG, especially in these harsh economic times?

    I think not.

    Like I always say, I would not HIRE EUSTACE and the NDP to MANAGE a MAUBY SHOP much less GOVERN a COUNTRY.

    Posted by VINCYPOWA | March 13, 2013, 15:22
  3. Will the law firm that Gonsalves handed his practice to, in 2001 after taking office, be the law firm that’s handling 95% of these land sales?. Can someone please provide/share a photo of an airport that was or being constructed anywhere in the world, except SVG, where the terminal building is heading for completion or completed but the entire surrounding area, tarmac and runway, is dirt.

    Posted by ks784 | March 13, 2013, 19:03
  4. VincyPowa the ULP Govt need money. Why don’t you buy some govt lands to support the comrade brilliant ideas?

    Posted by profdasilva | May 5, 2013, 03:53

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