Governor John Rankin chaired a virtual Cabinet meeting held Aug. 11. All members were present, with the exception of Transportation, Works and Utilities Minister Kye Rymer, who was overseas on private business. In the meeting, Cabinet took the following actions, according to a summary published in the Gazette.

1. Reviewed and approved the Magistracy’s 2020 Annual Report and decided that it be laid on the table in the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting.

2. Considered and approved the bill titled Virgin Islands Air and Sea Ports Act, 2021, which seeks to establish the VI Air and Sea Ports Authority as a statutory corporation and to vest in the corporation the administration, management, control and operation of airports and seaports in the VI; and:

a. decided that the bill be introduced for its first reading in the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting;

b. decided that a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed merger be carried out and re-submitted to the Cabinet for consideration, prior to the conclusion of the legislative process; and

c. noted that the preliminary analysis indicates that there will not be loss of employment at either entity.

3. Reviewed and:

a. approved the implementation of the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Economic Stimulus Programmes being administered by the Premier’s Office: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME); Farmers and Fishermen; Daycares, Pre-schools, Private Schools, Churches and Religious Organisations; and Transportation;

b. approved the methodology previously presented to the Cabinet to ensure accountability, value for money and transparency for each economic stimulus programme and people, businesses and others that have received assistance through these programmes;

c. noted the template letter that was previously issued to each recipient of each of the programmes administered by the Premier’s Office, which ensured that all recipients were made aware that they would have to account for the assistance received from the government; and

d. decided that the Premier’s Office furnish the Cabinet with quarterly reports of the efforts of this initiative, which will then be forwarded to the HOA.

4. Reviewed and accepted the evaluation report submitted by the Central Tenders Board technical evaluation sub-committee, which was approved by the CTB on May 19; and accepted the recommendation of the CTB to award New Horizon Ferry Services Ltd. the contract for barging of waste from Jost Van Dyke to Tortola, in the amount of $280,000 for three years.

5. Reviewed and accepted the evaluation report submitted by the CTB technical evaluation sub-committee, which was approved by the CTB on May 19; and accepted the recommendation of the CTB to award Ever Ready Trucking the contract for managing of the Jost Van Dyke Transfer Station and providing hauling services for waste from Jost Van Dyke to the incinerator on Tortola in the amount of $292,500.

6. Reviewed and:

a. approved the Customs Management and Duties (Amendment to Schedule 4) Order, 2021, which seeks to amend the rate of customs duty applied to all imported renewable energy products; energy efficiency products; and LED products as follows:

i. that a zero customs duty rate be applied to any renewable energy product being imported into the territory for a period of two years with effect from July 1 to June 30, 2023;

ii. that after the two-year dutyfree period, the customs duty applied to all renewable energy products being imported into the territory be reduced to 10 percent across the board;

iii. that a zero customs duty rate be applied to any energy efficient products being imported into the territory for a period of two years with effect from July 1 to June 30, 2023;

iv. that after the two-year duty-free period, the customs duty applied to all energy efficient products being imported into the territory be reduced to 10 percent across the board;

v. that a zero customs duty rate be applied to any LED product being imported into the territory for a period of two years with effect from July 1 to June 30, 2023;

vi. that after the two-year duty-free period, the customs duty applied to all LED products being imported into the territory be reduced to 15 percent across the board; and

b. that the order be Gazetted and thereafter forwarded to be tabled in the HOA by resolution.

7. Approved the appointment of Dr. Cyrilyn Amarie Walters as a member of the BVI Health Services Authority Board for a period of three years with effect from Aug. 5, and noted that remuneration for members is $500 monthly.

8. Examined the Schedule of Reallocation Warrants approved for the year 2020 and decided that the report be laid on the table of the HOA at the next convenient sitting, in accordance with the requirements of Section 24 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2004.

9. Received the seven bound volumes containing a revision as at Jan. 1, 2020 of each of the enactments presented to Cabinet, and decided that the revised enactments be:

a. laid on the table at the next convenient sitting of the HOA; and

b. distributed to the public via any one or more online web portals, approved by the attorney general, at no cost.

10. Approved “a number of ” non-belonger land holding licence applications.

This information was provided in a summary Gazetted on Aug. 19.


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