The Minister of Energy and Business Development Kerrie Symmonds and a 15-member team from departments falling under his Ministry were the first in the Well when debate of the Appropriation Bill 2022 began on Wednesday.
The format of having senior public officers from the respective Ministries present in the House sitting along with the Minister fielding questions from parliamentarians on the performance of the different sections of the Ministry, was introduced about three years ago.
With the House of Assembly now meeting at the Worthing Corporate Centre while repairs continue on the Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown, Members of Parliament were assembled in the Chamber on the Upper Floor, while Symmonds, accompanied by Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands were seated on the floor below.
The sum of $39 483 647 has been allocated in the Estimates for this Ministry and Symmonds said a significant portion of that money will be allocated to development of the renewable energy sector while some will be allocated to the Barbados National Standards Institution and the development of Government’s Electronic Single Window (ESW).
The ESW has been described as “a computer based system aimed at boosting competitiveness and driving efficiency”, allowing connectivity among and between Ministries to reduce the costs of doing business and make trade more efficient.
Symmonds said Government was keeping a keen eye on current developments in Europe where the potential of war looms, since any such development could have a serious impact on states such as Barbados in terms of the availability of oil.
He therefore focused the opening section of his presentation on Government’s drive towards development of a vibrant renewable energy sector. (GC)