Political Leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Senator Nazim Burke has called on the Keith Mitchell administration in St. George’s to put in place the necessary measures that will ensure that Grenada’s doing business ranking can improve in a substantial and significant way.
Addressing the weekly press conference of Congress last week Wednesday, Sen. Burke, commented on the country’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, which the World Bank in its March 2016 report said had deteriorated by 5 places.
He told reporters that based on the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business rating, Grenada has moved from a position of 130 in 2015 to 135 in 2016.
He stated that on the “Ease of Doing Business” radar, Grenada has slipped from its all time high of 68th to 96th, then 107 and also to 126.
Sen. Burke advanced that the country’s rating is deteriorating at a time when the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Mitchell should “be creating the kinds of conditions that are conducive to doing business.
The government, he said is instead pulling out a big stick and trying to bully companies, people who would have invested hundreds of millions of dollars (in the country) in some cases.”
This is a clear reference to the move being made by the 3-year old administration to acquire the privately owned Rex Grenadian resort, which was built on crown land in the 1990’s.
Sen. Burke urged the Mitchell-led government “to encourage businesses to come to the country to create the necessary jobs (as well as) generate the necessary foreign exchange that at the end of the day (can) create a more favourable sustainable economic environment for the people of this country.”
The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report indicated that “Grenada averaged 99.25 from 2008 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 135 in 2015 and a record low (best performance) of 68” under the NDC regime in 2010.
The Ease of doing business index ranks countries against each other based on how the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation and stronger protections of property rights.
Economies with a high rank (1 to 20) have simpler and friendlier regulations for businesses.
Since returning to office in 2013, Prime Minister Mitchell has been forced to deviate from his promises of job creation to imposing a number of taxes in order to deal with a severe fiscal problem.
With the help of the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF), the regime instituted a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) that calls for Government to make significant cuts on Expenditure.