US$300M expected in debt relief

Grenada is expecting about US$300 million dollars in debt relief as a result of a debt restructuring programme being designed by the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government in St. George’s.

Prime Minister Mitchell made the announcement at the Constituency Forum of St John at the Grand Roy Government School.

According to a release from the Government Information Service (GIS), the disclosure created a big stir among the many who were on hand for the occasion.

“If we get that arrangement settled, and we do what we are expected to do we could get as much as US$300 million dollars of debt relief over a period of time,” Dr.Mitchell said, adding that that is

“… the equivalent of EC$800 million dollars – that’s a lot of money”.

However, Dr Mitchell said that as a country, sacrifices will have to be made by nationals, indicating that everyone will have to pay their fair share of taxes.

The NNP administration is said to be considering lowering the Income Tax threshold below the EC$60,000 mark and expanding the net to catch the many, who have been escaping.

GIS disclosed that these are among some of the recommendations coming from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The statement said that Prime Minister Mitchell has given assurances that the poor and marginalised will not be impacted.

“Whatever happens, the majority of people will still not be paying taxes because most people are not earning EC$ 3,000 dollar a month”, he remarked.

The Prime Minister is projecting major economic development for the country as a result of the restructuring programme.

“The monies we are getting could help people invest in more Small Business Enterprises, could help develop more educational activities for our children – more scholarships and training to prepare them to take the jobs that’s coming, could be put to health care so that when you go to the hospital you can get modern day treatment and also help to expand Agricultural activities by investing in technology and improving production levels, giving farmers more power to earn more money.”, Dr. Mitchell said.

He made it categorically clear that the programme being designed is done by Grenada and not the IMF.

However, he said that the IMF support is needed with its strong international clout.

“We need their backing; but any program we finalise will not be an IMF program; it is a Grenada program supported by the IMF- let’s get it straight, IMF not running Grenada, we are running Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique”, he affirmed to lusty applauses.


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