Friday August 5, 2022 – Members of Cabinet met on Monday July 18, 2022 and discussed a number of matters of national importance as follows:
PRESENTATION BY MONTSERRAT UTILITIES LIMITED FINANCIAL POSITION
Cabinet received a presentation by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, Works, Energy and Labour, the Managing Director and Financial Comptroller of the Montserrat Utilities Ltd (MUL) detailing the serious financial challenges facing the company. Cabinet was informed that MUL has been thrust into severe financial distress. Based on the company’s assessment, three factors have contributed to its current financial situation:
- Increased Maintenance Costs
- The escalating cost of fuel which moved from $640,000 in January 2022 to 1.2 million in June 2022.
- Increased delinquency among customers in the payment of bills resulting in the company having to subsidize the fuel surcharge over the last few months.
UPDATE re: MONTSERRAT UTILITIES LIMITED (MUL)
Cabinet requested a proposal from MUL for the company’s long-term business model.
EXTENSION OF SRO NO. 3 OF 2021 – VITAL AUTO PARTS LTD
Cabinet approved an extension for one (1) year to 31st July 2023 of the concessions granted under SR&O No. 3 of 2021 in the name of Vital Auto Parts Ltd.
REPORTING ON ACHIEVING NATIONAL PRIORITIES
Cabinet looks forward to receiving a plan from lead Ministries detailing the proposed actions that that would be taken to achieve the three priority areas that the Government of Montserrat has agreed to namely:
- Food Security – Redevelopment of agriculture to promote food security and fuel economic growth.
Cabinet is particularly keen to be updated on how the Ministry of Agriculture plans to achieve its objective of a 25% reduction in the food import bill by the year 2025.
- Renewable Energy – Local and external resources are exploited to advance Montserrat’s goal of becoming fully reliant on renewable energy by 2030.
- Financial integrity – Continued observation of high standards in combating money laundering and terrorist financing to promote Montserrat as a secure place to do business.
The lead Ministries, which are the Ministry of the Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment, MAHLE, the Ministry of Communication, Works, Energy and Labour, MCWLE and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management MOFEM are required to seek input from other Ministries on how they can support the delivery of the priority objectives.
Cabinet has requested that the plans from the respective Ministries be submitted by August 2022.
UPDATE ON RECRUITMENT TO ROLES IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE
Cabinet noted the update on the status of recruitment for the positions of:
- Director of Agriculture; and
- Private Sector Advisor.