October 29, 2020

See St. Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister Harris deliver inspiring remarks at the Customs & Excise Gala and Awards

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The picture attached was taken after a church service on Sunday, October 21st, 2018 to mark the start of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the Customs and Excise Department in the Federation. The church service was held at Charlestown Methodist Church in Nevis.

Speaking on Saturday, October 27th, 2018 at the Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony commemorating 60 years of the St. Kitts-Nevis Customs and Excise Department, . the Honourable Timothy Harris said, “Tonight, as our thoughts are focused on saluting excellence and on recognizing the contributions of Retired Comptrollers of Customs who helped to lead the way over these many decades, I think of how proud we should all be that the intellectual father of the US Customs Service was none other than Nevis’ very own . Hamilton immigrated to America in October 1772 and became one of its founding fathers and its first Treasury Secretary.”

You can see ’ inspirational Customs Gala speech tonight (Monday, October 29th, 2018) on ZIZ TV (Channel 5 – https://zizonline.com/tv/channel-5/) at 8:00pm and again at 10:00pm.

Also at 8:30pm tonight (Monday, October 29th, 2018), you can see the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis’ stirring presentation at yesterday’s (Sunday, October 28th, 2018) Prime Minister’s Forum. There, Prime Minister Harris discussed how he and his Team Unity administration are working tirelessly in Protecting the Gains made since they’ve been in office.

Nationally, the highest annual Wage Bill, the most Business Licenses issued in a year, and the largest numbers of Jobs, Workers and Social Security Contributors have all been recorded under his leadership.

Regionally, we are the first independent state in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to reach the benchmark 60% debt-to-GDP ratio – and we accomplished this feat under his leadership, 12 years ahead of the OECS target date of 2030.

What’s more, the Prime Minister and his administration have put plans in place for a $500-monthly Poverty Alleviation Programme, as well as Universal Health Insurance Coverage, which is in the Green Paper stage. https://sknis.kn/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Green-Paper-on-Universal-Health-Care-SKN-2.pdf

Our Customs and Excise Department has been doing its fair share of growth. The $139.2 million collected by the Department, as at October 18, 2018, compares favourably with the $126 million collected for the comparative period in 2017. The increase of $13.2 million represents a 10.48 percent increase in comparative collections.

Remarkably, all of this took place in the context of no increases in the tax rates for which the Customs and Excise Department is responsible to collect. This is a testament to the Department’s administrative efficiency, which was duly recognized in the World Bank’s 2017 . The report ranks St. Kitts and Nevis, out of all the countries in the English-speaking Caribbean, as the best facilitator of processing cross border trade. This is a huge international accolade that is often overlooked in an examination of our overall ranking.

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