The new cabinet which took office on 12 August 2015, did this at a time when crucial decisions that concern us all, have to be taken. Decisions that are not only needed to keep our country livable and administrable, but which must also ensure sustainable developments. Developments with enough perspective for a sustainable and better future. This in itself generally is already an immense task, but in the era we are living now, it seems twice as difficult. The government’s resources have considerably shrunk. Reserves have dwindled and prices of our main export products are in a persistent slump. There is no short term improvement in sight. Budgetwise, it will take a great deal of creativity to secure realization of the government’s policy agenda for the next 5 years. In this regard keeping government revenue at a steady level and cutbacks in government spending, go hand in hand. Tough measures are inevitable. Although, any achievement will ultimately be a team effort, the key part of the tough job will rest on the shoulders of the new Minister of Finance. There is not much time for lenghty deliberations to figure out what needs to be done. Therefore, the choice for Gilmore Hoefdraad as Minister of Finance is understandable within this context. Because with him, you get someone in the cabinet who is supposed to precisely know the current problems the government has in balancing its budget. He will surely benefit from his experience as governor of the Central Bank of Suriname. Naturally, the accomplishment of his new mission will depend on the extent to which the measures he prepared will be supported by broad sections of the society. He absolutely deserves that support. Although, tax increases and subsidy cuts have never exactly been measures that gain the public’s sympathy. Knowing this, transparancy and accountability will turn out to be critical factors towards his success.
Tough job ahead, but thank God it’s doable….