On the sidelines of the vote for the overseas budget, the minister, Annick Girardin, was heard by the overseas delegation at the national assembly last Tuesday.
The member for Saint-Martin and the Minister for Overseas France do not share the same humor, the first having failed to "make the smile" the second. In a commission session of the overseas delegation, Claire Guion-Firmin questioned Annick Girardin about the envelope that will be granted in 2020 by the government to Saint-Martin under the FEI, the exceptional investment fund. As a reminder, the FEI is a fund intended to finance the realization of investments carried out by the communities and necessary to make up for lost time in the territory concerned.
“Zero FEI for Saint Martin. Zero, ”said the member. "However, everyone is aware that the infrastructure needs are enormous," she said, citing those relating to water networks. And then ask the following question: "I will make you smile Madam Minister: is Saint-Martin the 0 of your slogan for overseas, Trajectoire 5.0? "
"I have a lot of humor but the 0 for a territory does not exist with me," replied Annick Girardin in a disapproving tone. "There is no zero FEI for Saint Martin", assured the minister. “The DPT * does not territorialize the credits of the FEI. So you can't find a specific envelope for FEI, ”she explained. But to specify the sums which will be allocated to the COM: "FEI Saint-Martin, it is 7,5 million euros for schools and 3 million euros for the construction of a cyclonic shelter".
In addition, the minister was questioned about the famous 50 million euros that the State had committed to give to the COM in 2018 during the protocol of November 2017 and of which only half was granted. The support agreement specified that the sums to be paid could go up to 50 million in 2018 to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the cyclone, but there was none according to the minister. “As there was a lot of work - it's normal we were rebuilding Saint-Martin - there was also a lot of revenue and therefore the budget of the COM was not in difficulty beyond the 25 million that were provided in addition ”, explained Annick Girardin to the deputy. Negotiations between the Minister and the President of the COM are however underway to draft an amendment to the accompanying agreement.
* The DPT is the cross-cutting or orange budget policy document, which is annexed to the finance bill.
What is the FEI?
The exceptional investment fund (FEI) is a device for financial participation of the State intended to accelerate the realization of public investments, with strong impact on employment and public procurement, necessary to catch up with the delay of overseas in terms of structuring public equipment. The selection of projects identified locally is carried out by the Minister for Overseas for the benefit of projects pertaining to one of the priority themes assigned to this system. The grants awarded by the FEI assume an effective start of the operation in the calendar year of their notification, subject to being lost since they cannot be carried over to the following year. (soualigapost.com)
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