This was during the National Assembly’s sitting this morning, after the leader of government business Charles de Commarmond presented a motion to move that the National Assembly resolves to approve the supplementary estimates to regularise the expenditure of SR226,533,165 (Rupees Two hundred and twenty-six million, five hundred and thirty –three thousand and one hundred and sixty five only) in excess of approved budget for the year 2017.
After the assembly moved into committee stage, chaired by Speaker Patrick Pillay, there were several interventions on the motion as well as the budget for STB specifically.
STB was represented before the assembly by the chief executive Sherin Francis and the deputy chief executive Jenifer Sinon.
Following requests from members for clarifications in regards to the STB budget, the principal secretary for finance and trade Patrick Payet and Mrs Francis gave detailed explanations.
Mr Payet said the supplementary budget was presented to the assembly just after the 2017 budget was approved.
He added that the two budgets were not approved when it was first presented before the assembly.
Discussions were then held between the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning, the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) and STB.
FPAC recommended that the budgets for the tourism ministry and STB be added to the supplementary budget and presented before the assembly.
One of the members who intervened was Jean-Francois Ferrari, who is also a member of the FPAC.
“It has always been our intention to give the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine as well as STB good budgets, and give the people of Seychelles transparency on these two budgets. Debating on these budgets was not an easy task and indeed it was a difficult exercise to be undertaken,” he said.
“We congratulate STB for the work being done to increase the figures and we hope that it will be a successful year for our tourism industry.”
“When tourism succeeds our country in general benefits. STB can count on the assembly to ensure that it gets what it needs to keep working hard for Seychelles but we have to ensure that there is always transparency.”