LIME seeking VAT exemption on broadband service

Angus Steele – wants VAT removed from broadband service

One of the country’s telecommunication provider is seeking tax relief from the new Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government on broadband services to the country.

Addressing reporters at LIME’s quarterly press conference held last week Wednesday at its Mt. Hartman location, General Manager Angus Steele disclosed that the company intends to approach the new government to remove the 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on broadband.

Steele believes the removal of VAT on the service can assist in ensuring greater affordability, as well as having a wider scope of the service.

“If we continue to have the economic crisis, as part of moving the penetration forward, we need to discuss whether there is a need for having VAT on broadband,” he said.

VAT, which is a consumption tax, was introduced in 2010 by the former Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government.

A previous NNP administration of Dr. Mitchell had also given a commitment to introduce VAT in Grenada.

According to Steele, broadband penetration throughout the island is high on LIME’s agenda.

The General Manager told members of the media that his company sees increasing the scope of broadband as part of its responsibility as an operator in the market to take the discussion forward and to the next level with government.

Steele acknowledged that there was a low rate of broadband penetration in the country somewhere between 25 and 29 percent and that LIME was committed to helping to see a much-improved situation.

He believes that broadband is key in the overall development of the country especially when it comes to developing the intellectual capacity of the people.

The LIME boss pledged his company’s commitment to educate the General Public on the importance of broadband in the country.

“I do plan to take those discussions to the public. If we need to get the public’s support to understand what we’re advocating here, I will certainly go to the public. I’m not a politician, but I’m a technology politician,” he said.

Steele also said that LIME will continue to work along with government and other stakeholders on the Information Communication Technology (ICT) agenda for Grenada since ICT is key for economic development.

 

17-year old displaying deviant behaviour

A 17-year old young man who once lived at the Fr. Mallaghan Home at Victoria, St. Mark’s, is proving to be difficult to be kept under control.

The young man who has had a string of incidents with the law has once again found himself in trouble.

He is suspected of violating the rules of various homes where he has been living.

The attention of Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill was drawn to the 17-year old behaviour on Monday by a female social worker.

She said that after having worked with the young man she believes that he has become rebellious due to the lack of attention by his mother who is not very supportive of him.

According to the social worker, the young man recently served a 14-month prison sentence for another incident, and was later placed on a bond.

A Police Officer confirmed to members of the media that almost every social worker and counselor on the island has worked with the young man.

The 17-year old who is charged with housebreaking was placed on $20,000.00 bail with two sureties.

 

Scotiabank reaches out to Professionals

Medical Professionals who have plans to upgrade their facilities now have the opportunity to obtain the relevant credit from a local financial institution.

Scotiabank, last week Wednesday launched its Scotia Professional Plan to meet the needs of accredited professionals.

Participants at the presentation ceremony

Senior Manager of Small Business from the International Bank in Toronto, Canada, Nalini Doon-Pundit who presented SPP to a pack conference room of professionals at the Spice Island Beach Resort gave a detailed outline of how the plan can be beneficial to professionals and their businesses.

Doon-Pundit said that Scotiabank is committed to supporting the professionals and their businesses through a convenient choice of services and products that are best suited to their needs.

She assured them that the bank is giving an undertaking to work with its professional customers by providing them with a range of solutions to their business and personal needs.

“When we look at professionals around the region, we know that you are building more than a practice. We are asking you to give us the opportunity to assist you in meeting your banking needs so you can focus on building a rewarding professional career and do what you do best – taking care of your patients and clients,” she said.

Professionals can access up to $1.3m through the Scotiabank SPP, and obtain up to one hundred percent financing of equipment to be purchased.

Under the programme, professionals can qualify for up to $135,000.00 in unsecured funding.

SPP is also being extended to other business professionals including pharmacists, lawyers, and accountants.

The international banker drew the professionals’ attention to a number of customer educational seminars and workshops that assist with the management of businesses. One of the workshops deals with proper record-keeping.

Doon-Pundit emphasized the need for professionals to avoid co-mingling.

She said when professional funds are co-mingled with the business, it means that they are treating the business funds as their own.

President of the Grenada Medical Association, Dr. Francis Martin who identified SPP as being healthy for his colleagues, recommended that they buy into the plan being offered by Scotiabank.

Dr. Martin believes the innovation is quite timely as most medical professionals are operating “within shrinking fiscal space.”

He said just as how business patterns are changing, the modus operandi of medical professionals has to change as well.

The Medical Doctor expressed the wish for the innovation to go one step further than just giving doctors money to put up offices.

“I want the innovation to speak to the needs of physicians and to speak to the needs of the population that we serve,” he said.

Dr. Martin noted that in developing countries such as Grenada, they cannot afford to maintain the cost of curative care, but can look at disease prevention and health promotion.

“So if the innovation can speak to those important aspects, then I think we would have done what we need to do and care not, just for the physicians, but the country on a whole,” he said.

 

Winston James back at the helm

Retired Commissioner of Police Winston James is back on the job as head of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).

A well-placed source told THE NEW TODAYthat James was brought out of retirement to take charge of the force on a temporary basis by newly elected Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell who is also the island’s Minister of National Security.

Winston James – back in the Commissioner’s Chair

According to the source, James was at Police headquarters on Friday to accept the handing over of the Force from Commissioner of Police, Willan Thompson who opted to take 257 days leave amidst reports that the new administration is not happy with him being at the helm of the force.

He said that James officially took up duties on Monday but could not say for how long he might remain in the job.

The long-standing member of the RGPF resigned from the top job within the force within months of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) taking office after the 2008 general elections and making way for another former Commissioner of Police, James Clarkson.

When Clarkson’s contract ended 17 months ago, the post was handed to Thompson following interviews conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) with two other members of the RGPF hierarchy.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mitchell has sought to clear the air on widespread reports in the country that he was bent on removing Commissioner Thompson from the post.

The Government Information Service issued the following release under the headline banner, “PM Mitchell Clears The Air On His Meeting With Commissioner Thompson”.

Willan Thompson – opted to take vacation leave

Prime Minister Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell has sought to clear the air over allegations in some quarters that he has moved to dismiss Police Commissioner Willan Thompson.

Prime Minister Mitchell has also expressed concern, that some aspects of a private conversation he had with Commissioner Thompson appeared to have been leaked.

The Grenadian Leader met with the Commissioner and other Senior Public Servants in a series of separate meetings after the General Elections.

“I never indicated to him that I would not want him to continue as Police Commissioner,” Prime Minister Mitchell said in an interview on Channel six.

“I posed some questions of concern and decisions that were taken, which clearly to me demonstrate some measure of Political activities, and clearly I have to be concern, so I raised the questions to him to get clarification to hear his explanation”.

Prime Minister Mitchell stressed, that during his one and one meeting with Commissioner Thompson he never indicated to him that he did not want him to continue as the country’s Top Cop.

The Prime Minister said, during the conversation, that he did explain to Commissioner Thompson that he was not satisfied with explanations provided on certain matters.

“I never said a word to him, I just received his explanation. I in some cases told him I didn’t necessarily share, understand and be satisfied with those explanation, but I said nothing more to him,” Dr. Mitchell said.

“The next thing I am hearing … after a private conversation he and I alone had, some elements of it were in the street and in some cases blatant lies about the conversation, twisted to make me look bad as if I was trying to hound him out of Office, and it’s unfortunate that someone who was chosen to be a Police Commissioner could behave in that manner”.

Prime Minister Mitchell said he believes Commissioner Thompson, who was appointed to the position in September 2011 replacing James Clarkson, has since gone on extended leave.

“I think the Police Commissioner from what appears to be happening, has seemed to have decided to change himself without being told specifically that there needs to be a change,” Prime Minister Mitchell added.

 

 

PM Mitchell lauds Non-Cabinet NNP MPs

Clifton Paul – has no say in Cabinet matters

The three Members of Parliament who have not been assigned Ministerial portfolios in the new Government are likely to receive extra support to assist them in serving their constituencies, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has announced.

Yoland Bain-Horsford, Tobias Clement and Clifton Paul, described by the Prime Minister as stalwarts, were not named as Ministers of Government during Sunday’s swearing-in Ceremony at the National Stadium.

Bain-Horsford defeated Social Development Minister, Sylvester Quarless to win the St. Andrew South-west seat, Clement surprisingly defeated Finance Minister Nazim Burke to win in St. George North-east while Paul was the biggest winner in defeating Prime Minister Tillman Thomas (St. Patrick East).

Addressing thousands of supporters and well-wishers who came out to the ceremony at the National Stadium at Queen’s Park, Prime Minister Mitchell announced that plans are in the making to increase the Constituency allowance for the three Non-Cabinet members.

Tobias Clement – seats on the sideline

“The fact that our three colleagues will not be members of the Cabinet will not diminish their role or effectiveness as your Parliamentary Representatives. We appreciate that their Constituents will have special expectations of them, and we intend to empower them to be able to fulfill those expectations”, Dr. Mitchell said.

“They will be given the resources to do the job people have voted them for. In that regard, we are currently looking at a construct that will allow us to increase the Constituency allowance for the three Non-Cabinet members of our team”, he added.

The Prime Minister announced the formation of a special Cabinet sub-committee to brief the Non-Cabinet MPs weekly on all major decisions taken by Cabinet.

According to Dr. Mitchell, the Non-Cabinet MPs will be able to use the briefing to propose support services for their own Constituencies.

“While the Parliamentarians are comfortable with the thrust, we are aware that sometimes their own supporters make it difficult for them, by trying to imply that their MP might be marginalised,” the Grenadian Leader pointed out.

“We call on all of our supporters to understand what we are trying to do and what are our National commitments; as well as the limitations of all the structures within which we have to operate”, he told the gathering.

Yolande Bain Thomas – the lone woman not included in the Cabinet

Prime Minister Mitchell said the decision to leave out the three MPs at this time was painful, but became easier since the three have proved themselves to be good team players.

“It was not easy to ask Sister Yoland Bain-Horsford, Brother Tobias Clement and Brother Clifton Paul to go to bat first on that team. It was not an easy one,” he remarked.

“But my friends they have been willing to put aside their own egos, curb their own ambitions, and prepared to fight perception, for the general good”, he remarked.

Given the clean sweep of all 15 parliamentary seats by NNP, the three Non-Cabinet Ministers will have to be considered for places like Deputy Speaker of the Houses of Representatives and for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which has to be comprised of Non-Cabinet members.

 

 

New Cabinet is sworn in

Delma Thomas – has the portfolio of Housing Minister

The New National Party has sent out a word to foreign investors that its victory at the polls in national elections held February 19 means that “we are open for business” and the party intends to keep to its election slogan of “We will Deliver” on the promises made to the electorate.

These were among some of the key statements made by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell who on Sunday finally presented an eleven-member Cabinet of Ministers with the only surprise being economist Anthony Boatswain who has been given the job of Minister of Education.

The Prime Minister took the key post of Finance for himself and gave the newly created post of Minister of Economic Planning, Trade and Finance to rookie politician, Oliver Joseph.

Boatswain who has served in Finance and Economic Planning in past NNP government was this time around put at the head of the island’s Education system.

During a ceremony held at the National Sports stadium at Queen’s Park on Sunday, the Prime Minister selected only elected Members of Parliament to sit in the Cabinet that will preside over the nation’s affairs.

Mitchell’s NNP swept the polls on February winning all fifteen seats against the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) of former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.

Oliver Joseph – the line Minister of Trade

The Prime Minister disclosed that the three other Senators to be selected by government will be done during the course of the week.

One of the Senators will most likely hold the prestigious post of President of the Senate and to act as Governor-General whenever Sir Carlyle Glean is out of State.

In an address lasting just under one hour, the new Grenadian leader hinted that his government will be looking more towards countries in the Southern hemisphere to help the island which has been struggling economically and financially in light of the global recession.

The Congress government was often dogged by bitter internal feuding and difficulties to pay civil servants on time due to the island’s high debt situation.

Dr. Mitchell told a large gathering of mainly party members and supporters assembled at the stadium that the NNP has been given “a huge task” to restore faith and confidence in the Grenadian economy following years of decline.

In making reference to the massive youth vote that the NNP received in the election to defeat Congress, the Prime Minister admitted that his party would have to deliver on its many promises made or face a backlash in the years ahead.

Prime Minister Mitchell also extended an olive branch to his political enemies in the interest of nation building.

He called for a wiping out of past battles and suggested that people need to talk to each other and not against each other and to put away the green and yellow T-shirts of the two leading parties.

He said he was committed to offering “an open hand” to his old political enemies and “not a closed fist” to any one of them.

The Prime Minister urged his supporters not to interpret the February 19 victory at the polls as signaling “our time now” but one for all the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

In looking at the economic and financial task ahead, Dr. Mitchell said that the NNP administration would place emphasis on South-South co-operation and developing greater ties with Asian and African countries without diminishing relations with traditional countries like the United States, Canada and Britain.

The task of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International business to globe trek around the world for financial assistance and to lure foreign investment was given to another political newcomer, businessman, Nickolas Steele.

According to Dr. Mitchell, he has decided to present to the country a government that is comprised of experienced persons and new faces who are success stories in their own rights.

He described the move as one aimed at taking an advantage to bring “freshness” to the leadership of the country.

Among the old-stagers who have been given positions to serve in the government are Elvin Nimrod, Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Gregory Bowen, Senator Kenny Lalsingh, a foundation ember of NNP and Senator Brenda Hood, a former Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation.

The newcomers who will enter government service for the first time include Delma Charles-Thomas, Alvin Da Breo, Alexandra Otway-Noel, Sheldon Scott and Pastor Winston Garraway.

Three of the victorious MP’s were not included in the government – Tobias Clement (St. George North-east), Yolande Bain-Horsford (St. Andrew South-west and Clifton Paul (St. Patrick East).

Speculation is rife that only of the trio will have to serve as Deputy speaker of the house of Representatives while the others might be assigned roles as members of the Public Account Committee (PAC) of the houses of Representatives given the decision taken by the electorate to place all 15 seats in the hands of NNP to run the island.

Prime Minister Mitchell spoke of being at “great pains” in having to exclude the three MP’s from the team and warned them to be wary of attempts by the party’s own supporters to complain about the decision that was taken to leave them out at this stage.

He hinted that Clement, Bain-Horsford and Paul will be given additional financial resources as non-members of the Cabinet to look after their constituencies.

In addition, a special select committee of the Cabinet will meet and brief them on decisions taken at the level of Cabinet.

Dr. Mitchell disclosed that in light of the clean sweep of NNP at the polls and no formal opposition voice in Parliament, a decision was taken to engage the people in greater governance of the island.

He said that the winning MP’s have been mandated to hold monthly Village and Parish Council meetings in order to account ob their stewardships and to subject themselves to scrutiny by the people.

“Don’t play with the people otherwise we would face the weight of the people next time around”, he told his elected MP’s.

The NNP had seen its 15-0 drubbing of the opposition in the 1999 general elections dwindle to a slim 8-7 majority as NDC came within 6 votes in 2003 of capturing the seat of power in St. George’s.

The NNP showcasing of its new government was witnessed by only one Caribbean leader, Prime Minister Roosvelt Skerrit of Dominica and former Vincentian leader, Sir James Mitchell, a close friend of Dr. Mitchell.

Among the regional political figures who attended were those of some of the sister parties of the NNP in St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts/Nevis.

Following is a full list of the NNP government members as announced at Sunday’s event:

 

Dr. Keith Mitchell: Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Energy, National Security, Disaster Management, Home Affairs, Implementation, and Information.

 

Elvin Nimrod: Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Legal Affairs, Labour, Local Government and Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs.

 

Gregory Bowen: Minister of Communications and Works, Physical Development, Public Utilities and ICT

 

Anthony Boatswain: Minister of Education and Human Resource

 

Claris Modeste: Minister of Health and Social Security (NIS)

 

Roland Bhola: Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment

 

Nicholas Steele: Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Business

 

Emmalin Pierre: Minister of Youth, Sports, and Ecclesiastical Relations

 

Alexandria Otway-Noel: Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, and Culture

 

Oliver Joseph: Minister of Economic Development, Trade, Planning and Cooperatives

 

Delma Thomas: Minister of Social Development, Housing, and Community Development

 

 

Junior Ministers:

 

Alvin Dabreo: Minister of State in the Ministry of Communications and Works, Physical Development, Public Utilities and ICT, with special responsibility for ICT.

 

Senator Kenny Lalsingh: Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Energy, National Security, National Disaster, Home Affairs, Implementation, and Information, with special responsibility for Implementation.

 

Parliamentary Secretaries:

 

Senator Winston Garraway: Ministry of Finance, Energy, National Security, National Disaster, Home Affairs, Implementation, and Information with responsibility for Information.

 

Senator Sheldon Scott: Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Ecclesiastical Relations.

 

Senator Brenda Hood: Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation with responsibility for Culture.

 

NNP to use the air to deal with criminal elements

The new government of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell is planning to spend millions of dollars to upgrade the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).

In its manifesto for the just-ended general elections in Grenada, Dr. Mitchell’s New National Party (NNP) gave an undertaking to improve the benefits given to police officers and other security personnel.

The ruling party also assured police officers that they can expect more scholarships and training opportunities in Management, ICT, Forensics and other critical areas of policing.

Speculation is rife that large sections of the police force voted for the NNP and not the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of former Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas in the February 19 general elections.

This newspaper has been reliable informed that some police officers used their cellphones to take pictures of the ballot they cast in favour of Dr. Mitchell and his NNP which won all fifteen seats in the national poll.

The Mitchell government also committed itself in the 66-page NNP manifesto to strengthening “our aerial surveillance programme” and to set up Closed Circuit TVs in certain hot spots in the country.

A high-level police officer when quizzed by this newspaper said the island had been engaged in some discussions with Israel and neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago with assistance in an aerial surveillance project to assist with border controls and for improvements in crime detention.

The source was also asked to comment on a commitment given by the NNP in its manifesto to “upgrade the Forensic Lab facilities and capacity of RGPG in order “to meet internationally accepted standards.

He said that there is no such facility existing within the Police Force but that Commissioner Willan Thompson had started talks with officials of St. George’s University (SGU) to help with the setting up of a Forensic Lab.

He added that Commissioner Thompson had also engaged his counterpart in Barbados to assist the local force with setting up Closed Circuit TV’s between the Town of St. George and the south of the island to monitor the hot spot areas in order to curb criminal activities.

As a public service, THE NEW TODAY reproduces in full the NNP position on its plans to “OVERHAUL THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHITECTURE” of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

 

There will be a review of the national security apparatus of our country. It is acknowledged that our way of life as Grenadians and the quality of life are affected by the acts of criminal elements that have unlimited resources.

Our approach in this area will include:

 

*Management Audit and Strategic Needs Assessment of the National Security Apparatus having regard to the threats, risks and responses which our country will need to address;

 

*Development of a more responsive, modern and relevant National Security Apparatus and security arrangements for Grenada, which will ensure that our jurisdiction of land and sea remain among the safest in the world;

 

*Negotiations with International Partners to use best practice and to secure financing of the National Security Action Plan.

 

UNIFIED SECURITY FORCE

 

The Strategic Development plan will also examine a number of key issues being raised in the security community including:

 

*Merging the Coast Guard and SSU into a unified National Security Force;

 

*Determining the best strategic location for situating the key elements of our national security apparatus;

 

*Determining the best institutional fit for the critical capabilities required to address cybercrimes;

 

*Integrating elements of the law enforcement under one overall command to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

 

There are a few “early harvests” that can be brought to bear on the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) including:

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT REFORMS

 

*Modernising legislation and regulations governing the RGPF including a reform of the criminal justice system;

 

*Repairing the existing Police Stations across the country and identifying sites and infrastructure for new Police Stations;

 

*Improving the benefits package of police officers and other security personnel;

 

*Increasing the scholarships and training opportunities for all police officers, in management, ICT, forensics, and other areas critical to the efficiency of the Police Force;

 

*Providing modern communication facilities, audio and video surveillance, monitoring equipment radios and recording devices for police officers.

 

CAPACITY BUILDING

 

The strategy to improve the safety of our citizens will require the NNP to:

 

*Dedicate greater resources to study and understand crime patterns and behavioural issues linked to crime and criminality, and develop a comprehensive crime database;

 

* Seek out greater international support to partner with local law enforcement in the spheres of technical assistance, training, modern equipment and grant programmes

 

STRENGTHENING FORENSIC LABORATORY

 

*Upgrade the Forensic Lab Facilities and capacity to meet internationally accepted standards;

 

*Make budgetary allocation for training and continuing professional development in forensic sciences.

 

NATIONAL SURVEILLANCE

 

*Implement a National Video Surveillance System. We will set up Closed Circuit TVs in hot spots which will be linked to various command centres;

 

*Strengthen our aerial surveillance programme for better border control and for crime detection;

 

*Make our streets safer with streetlights, increased street policing and better means of mobility.

One Billion Rising

St. George’s University, Credit: Joshua Yetman

On February 14th 2013, students, faculty, and staff of St. George’s University and local community organisers joined forces with millions of others around the world to be part of One Billion Rising – a global call to action to end violence against women and girls.

We danced, sang and practised yoga to remind everyone that a reduction in violence starts with a change in our attitudes. We have to acknowledge that here at home, in Grenada, the issues are real and gender-based violence does exist.

We have to stop blaming the victims and we need to stand in support of those who need our help. On that day we took the white ribbon pledge, in which we pledged to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls, and promised to be part of the solution to ending all forms of this violence.

The rising did not stop there. We also hosted three benefit performances of Eve Ensler’s award winning play, The Vagina Monologues.

The proceeds from these performances will go to support the efforts of organisations such as GNOW, GRENAIDS, GRENCHAP and Cedar’s Home for Abused Women and their Children.

If you or someone you love is a victim of gender-based violence or if

you have committed acts of violence and would like help, contact GNOW, the LACC or the Domestic Violence Unit in the Ministry of Social Development.

We are rising because no one wins in a cycle of violence. We are rising because love is much stronger than hate. We are rising for the women and girls who don’t have the courage to do so yet.

With International Women’s Day on March 8th, Grenadians have yet another opportunity to rise. Why are you rising?

 

(The above was submitted by Sacha Pierre and Alyssa Bierzynski of SGU V-Day)

LIME spreads outreach programme

Dale Hinds receives a replica of the stamp of LIME Paradise Football Club

Telecommunication provider LIME is forging ahead with its trust to reach out to members of the community.

The company has re-iterated that recognition will continue to be given to a number of persons who have contributed to the society.

According to General Manager, Angus Steele they are getting ready to release a number of cards in the names of some local persons through its World Talk Cards.

One of the cards will recognise Hiker Telfa Bedeau of Grenville, St. Andrew’s for over 50 years in hiking.

Paradise Football Club that has been receiving sponsorship from Lime for the past six years will also be recognised through the World Talk card.

LIME is also finalising a card to recognise the boat builders of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and former National Athlete, Alister Clouden who remains the holder of the 220 yards event.

Steele said the company will also be releasing a card in recognition of those persons who used to produce the mini-steel pans and have since died.

Addressing reporters at the quarterly press conference held by LIME at its Mt. Hartman Plant, the local boss disclosed that the telecoms provider has launched a directory cover competition for the next directory.

Interested persons can submit their ideas, and the person with the best idea will receive $500 in credit and services.

It was also announced at the press briefing that customers can now use modern technology to pay their bills.

The LIME General Manager said that as a new service, customers can pay their bills via their telephone by using the Interactive Voice Recording System (IVR).

He stated that customers can sign up for free, on-line service that allows them the opportunity to check their bills at anytime, and to also allow them to pay their bills on line.

“We need to have a less reliance on persons needing to walk around with cash, and paying via the IVR, paying via e-service and mobile banking that we are going to launch with a bank shortly, all are aimed at removing cash from the pocket, Cash in your pocket… is a security concern especially in current times. It’s also of concern for institutions like ours,” he said.

LIME has over 20,000 fixed line customers.

According to Steele, although they are not satisfied with the compliance ratio of bill payments, LIME is working with customers to see improvements.

He said in an effort to mitigate against bad debts they are working with customers on how to ensure better controls and behaviour with their bill payments.

“If we lose a customer it doesn’t work well for us. If they run up bills that they can’t pay, it does not work well for them,” he added.

Lime’s Prepaid customers now have the opportunity to win movie tickets to attend shows at Movie Palace in the Excel Plaza at Grand Anse, St. George’s.

According to Steele, a total of 150 movie tickets will be available to customers who top up $15.00 or more each week.

He said LIME is not a company that just indulges in promotion, but delivering value to the benefit of everyone in the State of Grenada.

Rallies are over – Now the reality

The build up to February Nineteenth was fun and fete and liming – and with the very clear decision later on the same night, from all the Fifteen Constituencies – our people and the winning party are now faced with the reality in the years ahead.

The responses from around the Islands are varied, as far as the size of the victory is concerned – but most people are in agreement that the NNP was the expected winner, although they thought the NDC would have picked up a couple seats.

We were all proved to be very wrong, and for the second time in these Isles and the first in the Caribbean, and maybe the entire Commonwealth of Nations – the same party and Prime Minister have done it again, with no one in Opposition in Parliament to reject anything.

How good, bad or indifferent, that state of affairs will turn out to be for our people – only time and the unfolding events in Parliament and the country as a whole, will reveal in due course.

We could have three Senators in the Upper House, courtesy the Governor General – who will provide a contrary Opinion on matters that must go through Parliament; but the Government will still have its way because it also controls the majority in the Senate or Upper House.

Towards the end of this Article I should have the number of ministers – if they are named at the swearing Ceremony in the Stadium on Sunday 3rd March.

The Prime Minister has been saying that he is keeping the Cabinet positions at Eleven or Twelve, to control the Government business operations – but I also heard a statement, that ALL the M.Ps will be receiving the same salaries, and I find that very strange if they are not all Ministers.

I also heard the Prime Minister making some remarks pertaining to the Commissioner of Police, Willan Thompson, and it all seems to indicate that the Commissioner of Police is not on the Prime Minister’s approval list for remaining in that position.

I can only wait to hear and see how that position plays out – but I do hope that the control of absolute power the Prime Minister and his party now enjoy, as the winners of all the seats in Parliament, that power does not become a tool of repression and revenge for settling longstanding grievances.

Goodness knows – that as a people we have gone through and suffered more than our fair share of trials and tribulations, from too many of those who were supposed to use their powers to help the people.

Now that the returning Prime Minister and his party, have again achieved this unique position – of being in control of every seat in our Parliament, for the second time in our short history – those so endowed should go all the way, in showing that they do have something special to offer the people, and do not be bogged down with the same old-fashioned behaviour of taking revenge, and scoring cheap political points.

After Forty years of being an Independent nation state, we have seen and experienced enough ups and downs and underground, to be able to chart a reasonable and responsible pattern of behaviour in the best interest of all our people – regardless of their political attitudes or affiliation.

The Prime Minister has said as much, and now that he has proven by that landslide victory, that the people are on his side as their Leader, I very strongly hope and look forward to him rising above the old fashioned pettiness and showing that he deserves their trust and confidence.

As for the NDC and the defeated Ex-Prime Minister who also lost his seat – the talk around town is that he is not interested in holding unto the Leadership of the Party, so I guess that situation will be dealt with at their upcoming national Convention.

If the Karl Hood case that was adjourned late last year, is not finalised before the Convention, then it would mean that he and the others who were expelled last year, but the Court held the expulsion invalid pending the full hearing of the Case – they too could take part in the Convention..

The Prime Minister on Sunday appointed himself and Eleven other M.Ps – to Ministerial and Parliamentary Secretary positions in the new Government. Three M.P’s were not given any other duties in the Administration.

The appointment of Senators to sit in the Upper House should be completed this week – so that the Parliament can be fully constituted to deal with the Nation’s business.