A senior minister in the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) Government has charged that Grenada has been suspended from the Kuwaiti Fund from receiving any financing since February 12, 2012.
Addressing a Press Conference last week Thursday at the Ministerial Complex, Minister of Works, Gregory Bowen said there were many senior officials in the Ministry of Finance who were not even aware of the suspension.
Bowen claimed that the suspension came as a result of four loans in the amount of EC $11m as of June 1, 2013 that were taken since 1997 that were not serviced and the decision had nothing to do with the Farm Roads Project.
The senior Government Minister said the task for the one-month administration is to now convince the Kuwaiti Fund to reinstate the country so that it can once again benefit from the fund.
An initial down payment of 100,000 Kuwaiti Dinars have to be done in order for the Fund to reinstate Grenada.
However, the senior Government Minister could not provide the media with the specifics of the default payment.
Bowen said that in his government’s quest to have Phase Two of the Kuwaiti-funded Farm Roads Project given urgent attention, the new rulers understand that the suspension from the Kuwaiti Fund is one of two major problems.
The second problem Bowen spoke about related to the sum of money owing to the Contractor of the project, Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC).
According to him, $500,000.00 that is due to CCC has not been paid to them by the past government within the past 21 months.
However, he said the new government has negotiated with CCC and have arrived at an arrangement to have money owed to the contractor paid. He did not give a timeframe.
CCC was originally owed $18m, and to date the remaining sum owed is $15m.
Bowen said his government will also have to seek the Kuwaiti Fund’s approval to operate without the total pay-off of the CCC debt.
According to him, the Fund had placed one condition that CCC must be paid all the money that is owed to it in order to allow for continued funding from the Kuwaiti fund
He spoke of government having to pay 333,000 Kuwaiti Dinars every six months as part of the new arrangement.
Bowen said CCC Officials will soon be on the island to look into the asphalt plant at Mt. Hartman with a view to having it operational to resart the work programme on the island.
The Agriculture Farm Roads Project will rehabilitate ten roads throughout the country.
Bowen estimates that work will commence on the project within four weeks.