The first 100 days

The debate will go on in the country for some time on whether the government has kept its promise to provide hundreds of jobs in the construction sector in the first 100 days in office following the February 19 general elections.

The end of May will be the time for the people to be the judge about the jobs as promised by the now ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, back at the helm for a fourth term as Prime Minister following a 13-year stint between June 1995 and July 2008.

On Tuesday, the government launched the start of work on the Kuwaiti-funded Feeder Road project at Mamma Cannes to be executed by CCC, its most trusted, loyal and reliable friend in the road construction business.

Just about everyone on the island knew about the problems that existed between the former Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration and CCC on arriving at a common position for the start of work on the Second Phase of the project.

Quite a lot is still to be disclosed to the public on the actual execution of this latest project involving CCC.

Will the Kuwait-owned company be bringing back its own equipment to do the project since the company had shipped out several pieces of heavy-duty equipment from the island over two years ago during the stand-off with Congress?

If CCC is not moving in that direction then will it be leasing equipment from other construction companies on the island or sub-contracting the work to be done to others?

In the days and weeks ahead, those persons in the know will probably provide answers to these as many more questions that will be asked by the public about the project that was awarded to CCC.

In terms of the promise of jobs and more jobs in the first 100 days of the new NNP administration, the Parliamentary Secretary for Information, Senator Winston Garraway announced on Wednesday that “beautiful things are on the horizon” for the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique to prove the skeptics totally wrong.

He did drop hints that an announcement will be made later in the week about a major project that will be started where more jobs will be made available to the people.

The Senator was brimming with confidence and was probably leaving this major announcement of the start of work on a major project to the Prime Minister.

Many persons started to speculate as to whether the goodly Senator was referring to the Grenada Grand Beach resort following the promise made by the NNP during the election campaign to bring back the project known as the Lewis Hamilton mega hotel on the world famous Grand Anse beach.

The only project which THE NEW TODAY can refer to with certainty is the upgrade to the Spice Isle Beach Resort by the island’s leading hotelier, Sir Royston Hopkin.

The Spice is expected to close in September to undergo a US$1.8 million upgrade of the facility.

Over the years, Sir Royston has been known to be one who puts his money where his mouth is and will always deliver on his promises in the hotel industry.

As May draws closer to an end, the debate will intensify on whether the government has truly started to deliver on its promises to the electorate during Campaign 2013.

The people will be the final judge on the promised jobs. The NDC was always judged in part on its four-and-a-half years in office on its promise to raise the pension of the old aged people to $400.00 which it was not able to bring about due to the financial crisis facing the country.

The same yard stick might apply to the NNP by the Grenadian electorate which is seemingly in a no-nonsense mood when it comes to the performance or lack of performance of politicians.

This newspaper expects Prime Minister Mitchell to soon address the Grenadian people on his stewardship of the country in the first 100 days of his new NNP administration.

The Prime Minister might give some more detailed insights into those projects from the private sector that are expected to come on stream shortly to help alleviate the unemployment situation in the country.

Several government officials have been reminding the people that the philosophy of the NNP government is not to actually provide the jobs but to provide the enabling environment and conditions for the private sector to excel and to engage in investment activities so that the badly needed jobs can materialise.

It is against this background that THE NEW TODAY is anxiously looking forward to some kind of announcement from the major manufacturers on the island about their plans to expand on their various businesses.

The common message which came out of the manufacturers during the period of the Congress government is that they were not happy with certain aspects of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the vexing issues of rebates and some of them vowed privately not to invest a single dollar in the country once the Tillman Thomas government remained in office.

The manufacturers should now have in NNP a more private sector friendly government with which to work with and so roll out as quickly as possible their expansion plans to take their businesses to another level and to make some inroads into the unemployment situation.

THE NEW TODAY does not anticipate as some critics have been suggesting that the Prime Minister might have to ask the people for an extension of the time that was earlier set by the NNP in the campaign to deliver within 100 days hundreds upon hundreds of jobs in the construction sector.

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