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Barbados on track to slash budget deficit

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs , Chris Sinckler

San Juan, Oct 28 (EFE).- The government of Barbados plans to reduce its budget deficit to 6.6 percent of gross domestic product by March 2015, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs said Tuesday.

The government is moving ahead with the implementation of “its fiscal stabilization and growth program,” Christopher Sinckler said in a statement.

“Following the explosion of our deficit at the start of the program, when the 2013 deficit reached just over 12 percent of GDP, we set ourselves the ambitious but necessary target of reducing the fiscal deficit to 6.6 percent of GDP by the end of the current fiscal year, March 31, 2015,” Sinckler said.

For the next six months, the ministry will focus on cutting government expenditures, bolstering the Barbados Revenue Authority and reducing the dependence of state-owned enterprises “on the public purse,” he said.

“As you are now well aware, the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Affairs Department, at our invitation, has conducted a review of tax policy in Barbados and the insights and recommendations are now ready for review and response by all critical stakeholders,” Sinckler said.

Barbados’ main industries are tourism, agriculture and manufacturing, according to a 2012 report from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean