“Create jobs, improve healthcare, and empower the People of Grenada Carriacou and Petite Martinique.”
These are the three core principles presented in the manifesto of the Nazim Burke-led National Democratic Congress (NDC), which is hoping to form the next government following Tuesday’s general election.
The NDC launched its manifesto dubbed, “The Opportunity Charter,” in digital form last week Thursday, becoming the first political organisation to do so in the history of the country.
According to Burke, the manifesto brings “a message of hope and prosperity as we launch into an era of participatory democracy that will focus on ‘putting people first’ in the sustainable development of our nation.”
The 25-page document makes several commitments, including the re-instatement of the Public Workers pension scheme, which Burke believes is achievable “within the first 6 months of taking office,” a student loan guarantee programme, free tuition for students of TAMCC and the construction of a new hospital, inclusive of a new dialysis centre.
The NDC also commits to pay public servants a one-off payment of $1, 500 in recognition of their sacrifice during the period of structural adjustment, establish a Grenada Business Loan Guarantee programme and pledges to enhance the controversial IMANI programme, by expanding it to include skills training in critical areas such as tourism and hospitality services, agriculture and agri-business, renewable energy development, education, health and wellness services, sports, culture and entertainment and, information and communication technology.
According to the document, the NDC intends to “reduce property tax by 25% and roll-back the tax on petroleum products from $5.50 to $4.00 to ease the burden on consumers.
Burke announced that plans are also in the making to “ensure that the people of Carriacou and Petite Marinique enjoy the full benefits from the reduction in petroleum tax and a local government authority is also on the agenda.
Burke, who is hoping to become the next Prime Minister of Grenada told the manifesto launch ceremony that “NDC’s proposed path of development will lead us to a stronger economy driven by a more people-centered approach to development.
He said, “the plans, programmes and targets we have set are realistic and achievable if we work hard and remain committed to and focused on our mission to build a prosperous Grenada, based on environmentally sound principles, and a just and equitable society”.
“A structured consultation process will guide our national plan that will address the problem of jobless growth, high unemployment, shattered dreams, hopelessness and despair. Our integrated approach to governance will enable us to regain the respect and admiration that our beautiful country so deserves.
“The path we propose will lead to sustainable economic growth and development, entrepreneurial opportunities, job creation and opportunities for all Grenadians to improve their standard of living. It will lead to a Government that will respect and serve all Grenadians, a rekindling and rebuilding of confidence in the future of Grenada and a Grenada which will regain respect regionally and internationally.
The NDC, like the ruling New National Party (NNP) are fielding candidates in all 15 constituencies in the election.
The NDC manifesto is available online for viewing and dissemination at the party’s website.