Despite swirling allegations of corruption around him, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell has reportedly received international recognition as Finance Minister of the Year for the Caribbean.
Dr. Mitchell has been forced to set up an inquiry into alleged corruption and wrong-doing at the state-owned Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB) of which he is the Line Minister.
THE NEW TODAY newspaper understands that a publication known as GlobalMarkets has bestowed the award on the Grenadian leader who is now into his 5th term as Prime Minister of the country.
In a letter to the Prime Minister announcing his selection for the award, Chairman of the GlobalMarkets Editorial Committee said “Grenada’s economic progress under your stewardship in the past half-decade has been highly impressive. But for the country to have continued to improve its fiscal position and GDP growth since the IMF programme was successfully completed in 2017 was of particular note to economists and analysts.
“The turnaround story – involving rapid debt reduction, better administration of revenues, and fiscal surpluses among other achievements – has owed much to your leadership”, the letter added.
Prime Minister Mitchell said he is elated and humbled to receive this award and dedicated it to everyone in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
“This is a very significant honour for Grenada as a whole and I am humbled by the receipt of this award on behalf of the country. I see this as an award for all the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
“Without their support for the Government’s initiatives and making the sacrifices that were necessary in 2013 when we initiated the Structural Adjustment Programme, we would not have had this award today.
Dr. Mitchell believes that the award is clearly based on the performance of the country and the fact that Grenada has reached a level of economic success that is now the envy of a lot of countries, regionally and internationally.
Current and former staff of the Ministry of Finance were commended by the Prime Minister for their role in advising him on the tough choices that were necessary.
The Grenadian leader said the underlying lesson is fiscal responsibility.
He said: “You have to be responsible in everything you do. If you are managing any activity, for example in your home, you cannot be making X dollars and spending X plus Y dollars – you have to live within your means.
“Successive governments over the years, including the NNP, were living beyond our means – getting into debts and not having the necessary means to repay it. That’s why we went down in a real sense, so the lesson to be learnt is that we must conduct ourselves, fiscally and otherwise, in a responsible way.
Dr. Mitchell was one of the 2018 awardees featured in a special edition of the Global Markets newspaper, published over the weekend.
Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Timothy Antoine, who Dr. Mitchell highlighted as one of the persons instrumental in Grenada’s economic turnaround and with whom the award must be shared, was himself a 2018 GlobalMarkets award recipient.
Antoine, who is now Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was recognised as the Central Bank Governor of the Year for the Caribbean.
Dr. Mitchell has congratulated Mr. Antoine, noting that he continues to demonstrate an admirable level of professional excellence.