ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA August 23rd, 2107: Grenada’s Fiscal Responsibility Oversight Committee (FROC) has been officially constituted: The first of its kind in Grenada.
On August 23, 2017, the Ministry of Finance and Energy conducted an orientation seminar for members of the FROC, with the objective of preparing them to effectively execute the legislated responsibilities of the Committee.
The seminar covered several topics including: the main provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act; the legal mandate of the FROC; roles and responsibilities of the Committee; reporting requirements; and other areas of practical guidance to support the operational independence of the FROC. An orientation manual was also provided to the Committee members.
As required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the first report of the FROC is due no later than three months after the Committee has been duly constituted.
The FROC is an important institutional pillar underpinning Grenada’s rules-based fiscal framework. It is an independent oversight body with the following legislated mandate:
a. monitor compliance with the fiscal rules and targets established under the Fiscal Responsibility Act No. 29 2015;
b. lay before the House of Representatives for consideration, an annual report on the status of implementation of the Act; and
c. upon request by the House of Representatives, lay before the House of Representatives an assessment report on the degree to which economic forecasts set out in the annual budget or supplementary budget, and supporting documents, comply with the provisions of the Act.
The Committee is comprised of a panel of four local experts and one regional expert, skilled in the following areas as stipulated in the Act: accounting; business management; public administration; law; and economics, namely: Richard Duncan (Chairman); Angus Smith; Adrian Hayes; and Sabina Gibbs. Zanna Barnard (a senior economist of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank) is the regional expert.
Beausejour, Carriacou, July 26th, 2017- The holistic development of Carriacou’s sporting and cultural talents, a social centre to assist women and girls, better accessibility to health care and the implementation of local government were some of the suggestions given as residents of Carriacou got an opportunity to give their input to the National Sustainable Plan 2030.
They were part of a contributors’ forum organized by the National Sustainable Plan 2030 Committee. The forum was held at the Carriacou Multipurpose Centre recently.
Raphael Joseph of the National Sustainable Plan 2030 Committee said that one of the weaknesses of Grenada as a State is the absence of a comprehensive long term strategic plan.
Therefore, The Committee of Social Partners recommended that a long term plan be developed and they received the full backing of the Government.
He noted that some of the possible benefits of such a plan include higher economic production, education expansion and human resource development, reduced poverty and lower unemployment.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs Javan Williams was also present at the forum.
A similar forum will be held on the island of Petite Martinique.
ST. GEORGE, GRENADA, JULY 24, 2017: Nearly 70 primary school students from across the country received education grants from the Keith Mitchell Foundation during an awards ceremony at the Trade Centre on Friday.
Awardees were selected on strict criteria which include being Grenadian and a demonstration of need-based predicament.
“It is designed for you to get grant to go to secondary schools,” declared foundation chair and leading Grenadian and Caribbean hotelier Sir Royston Hopkin.
“We recognize that government provides tuition, that government provides books for those folks who cannot afford to have books; however we also recognize through the foundation that those kids still need a lot of assistance. So our grants are to assist in getting your uniforms, your shoes all the ancillary things that you need to make it easy on your parents”.
The Foundation, a charitable organization established in January last year, was setup in the name of Prime Minister Mitchell as a way of tackling poverty through education.
“My initiative here in this foundation, is based on my own experience knowing that if I did not get help I would not be standing where you are, sitting where you are like you today,” Prime Minister told the students.
“And I would not be standing here so I can’t forget this”.
Other officials in attendance included Director Jean Augustine, a Grenadian who became the first African-Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons in Canada.
“So I want to give thanks to those who have encouraged, those who put your names forward, those who recognized that there is a sparkle in you, that they want to see light and that this foundation, this philanthropic activity - this award will help you to blossom”.
The secretary of the Keith Mitchell foundation is Ronald Charles, the treasurer Dr. Elliot McGuire while the other directors comprise Kent Mitchell and Jerome McQuilkin.
ST. GEORGE, GRENADA, JULY 24, 2017: Grenada is preparing to host an Agri-business Expo which will serve as a vehicle for regional and international exposure of the country’s products.
The Grenada Agri-business Expo 2017 will be from Thursday, September 28 to Sunday, October 1, 2017, at the Grenada Trade Centre, in Morne Rouge, St. George.
During the launch on Tuesday, July 18, Agriculture Minister, Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford, said while there is creativity in the agri-business sector, there is need for a professional brand.
She said, “What we’ll be doing over the next few weeks is to get the training to these small businesses; get them in line in preparation for exhibiting their products, because some of them – you know – are still tying little bags and doing little things - they don’t have proper labels.
The lab has not tested their stuff to see if it’s - the shelf life – to know if it can stay on the shelf for a while. We don’t want that, but we have to make sure that if that happens, they would not lose all their monies that they have put into the project.”
The expo is the brainchild of the Agriculture Minister, who saw the latent potential of the sector and declared 2017 the year of agri-business, in Grenada.
Alva Browne, from the Ministry of Agriculture, spoke of the expo’s objectives.
“The main objective of the expo is to foster networking and linkages among producers, agro-processors, investors and suppliers, while displaying Grenada’s current agro-products and providing an avenue where established products can be showcased and improved and new products developed.
The expo will also serve as a vehicle for regional and international exposure of Grenada’s products,” Browne said.
Additionally, the Grenada Agri-business Expo 2017 will include a Career Day for students, a Farmers Market and Health Fair.
ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, MONDAY 24 JULY, 2017– GIS: The House of Representatives has authorized the Minister of Finance to borrow six million US dollars as additional financing for the OECS regional tourism competitiveness project.
This is in addition to a loan Agreement entered into with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to obtain Financing for the project.
The motion was brought by Finance Minister Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, who said a core objective of the project is to facilitate the movement of people in the region using existing ferry systems.
“If we don’t have, the vessels and the ferries it would affect tourism, it would also affect trade in a very serious way" Dr. Mitchell said.
"So that’s why I said it’s a combination of activities we are looking at, the second one is to market the region as one destination, in other words there is that perception that if I just go of on my own and market and see to it that the rest don’t get mention, I get hurt to”.
It will also help to improve potential tourism sites, especially those in the rural areas, leading to an increase in jobs.
“The key beneficiaries would be the following, increase contribution to GDP of cost, employment opportunities, foreign exchange increases, an opportunity to leverage investment to secure additional financing, " Prime Minister Mitchell explained.
"Increased occupancy in the Hotel Sector, increase earnings for the taxi operators, more earnings from small business sectors, like the vendors, for example new business opportunities for ferry operators, and increase in inter-regional trade which I mentioned before, and of course increase tourism activity".
The term for the loan is thirty years for maturity with an almost ten year grace period, with an interest rate of 2.44%.
ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, MONDAY 24 JULY, 2017– GIS: Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Development has commended the government of Grenada for what she calls a tremendous example of social engagement.
Mrs. Cecelia Caesar Chavannes, a Grenadian by birth, who was on a brief visit to her homeland, said it is always wise for a government to take into account the needs and views of all sides.
Social Partners, which include Churches, Trade Unions and the business community, are all on board in the process of nation building in Grenada.
"We appreciate that Grenada does this, we appreciate that there is this active civil engagement that is something that I think Grenadians should be very proud of because it means that there is a consulting of effort to ensure that their voice is truly reflecting in Government and most importantly reflecting in policy" said the Parliamentary Secretary
Mrs. Caesar Chavannes says government’s method of all inclusiveness and reporting regularly on its work is being recognized all over.
"Government’s commitment to hosting town halls and reporting the results of policies and programmes did not go un-notice and I’ve heard about it during this trip as well", said the Parliamentary Secretary.
“I don’t know if it’s because I insist on telling people that I am Grenadian or if it’s because people are watching what Grenada is doing as an example but whatever it is keep doing it because it is recognized and appreciated”.