~PJIAE management intends to cut employees hours if no financial injection is given.~
PHILIPSBURG: --- An extremely nervous Minister of TEATT Stuart Johnson addressed the Parliament of St. Maarten on Monday morning. In his presentation, Johnson said St. Maarten is not selling out its major port of entry and that the information released by SMN News caused concern among the employees. While the Minister said no one is selling out PJIAE at no point he addressed the proposal made by Royal Schipol Group or the press release by the Steering Committee which was published in the Washington Post on November 8th.
Johnson acknowledged that there is a financial crisis at PJIAE he also informed Parliament that the letter of guarantee requested by PJIAE was done way before he took office and that it was never addressed.
Johnson further told parliament that Ports St. Maarten is also facing financial difficulties due to the fact that repairs have to be conducted on pier one and two.
Chief Operations Officer (COO) of PJIAE Michel Hyman presented the plans in place for the current repairs taking place at PJAIE, which includes the preparation of the temporary location in the Terminal Building that PJIAE Operations are expected to occupy by mid-December.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ravi Daryanani outlined the current financial situation at PJIAE. In his presentation Daryanani stressed the need for a financial injection as the operations cash as dwindled.
Daryanani informed parliament that PJIAE are in dire need of a financial injection as they await the World Bank funds which should come as a loan. The CFO said as of November 14th2018 that PJIAE has NAF 5.8M in Operating Cash (including overdraft facilities.) NAF 123.0M in Restricted Cash. The insurance proceeds said Debt Service reserve NAF110.M and Time Deposit NAF 12.9M
Daryanani said that PJIAE has a burn rate between USD 1.5M and USD 2.0M and the company does expect and active high season which could cause the burn rate to fluctuate below the $2M with a monthly loss projected of at least $1.0M to $1.5M. Due to this PJIAE do need immediate cash injection or USD 15.0M to sustain the company until the EIB Trust Fund loan or Alternative Financing thru a reputable Investment Bank or local investors.
Daryanani said PJIAE have not discussed the possibility of terminating staff but made clear that if PJIAE does not get the required financial injection then management will have to cut the working hours of their employees. He said that at the moment as cost cutting measures PJIAE already freeze the fringe benefits for their employees. Daryanani also informed Parliament that PJIAE submitted a proposal to the two unions that represents its staff, he said one WICSU already accepted their proposal but the ABVO did not give PJIAE any response thus far.
Daryanani said for the month of November 2018 salaries and other operational expenses are in place but financing for operations has dwindled to 5.8M.