Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell has announced an incentive for the island’s fishermen.
He said the two-month old New National Party (NNP) government will not allow them to pay VAT on ice with effect from the start of next month.
This is what the Prime Minister told Parliament in delivering the 2013 budget on the issue:
Mr. Speaker, during the recent consultation with the farmers and fisherfolk held in Grenville, it was brought to our Government’s attention that ice is not available at the Grenville and Melville Street Fish Markets due to unrepaired equipment.
As a responsive Government, we have provided $110,000 to repair both machines so that our fisherfolk will now have ice.
During that same consultation, the issue of VAT on ice for the fishing community was also raised.
Our Government has considered this matter and has decided that from May 01, 2013, VAT on Ice will be zero rated for the fishing community. This simply means, our fisherfolk will no longer pay VAT on Ice.
Government has also heard the concerns of our fisherfolk about the non-functioning Communication Room at Melville Street and the Repeater at Mt. St. Catherine.
These problems will be fixed so that our fisherfolk can feel safer when they leave our shores to do their jobs.
Mr. Speaker, consistent with Government’s policy to boost food production and cut out waste in Government, I wish to announce that Government will pursue a policy of commercialisation of Government Estates.
To this end, Government has already received some proposals.
Government will give preference to local Grenadians and, where possible, persons in communities near these Estates, with demonstrated capacity to run these Estates.
Mr. Speaker, we have increased the total allocation for Agriculture and Fisheries et al from $23.6 million to $32 million, a near 36% increase.