No plans to privatise Gravel and Concrete Corporation

The Keith Mitchell-led administration has no plans to privatise Gravel and Concrete Corporation, according to Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Simon Stiell.

The Minister of State for Education made the statement in answer to a question on the future status of the Statutory Body by Labour Representative, Senator Raymond Roberts.

Sen. Stiell informed the Senate during a meeting of the Upper House of Parliament last week Tuesday that although there are no plans to privatise Gravel and Concrete the three-year old government is pursuing a joint venture, and that the terms and conditions have been developed.

He said three entities have responded to the Government of Grenada public notice to submit proposals to become private partner, adding that negotiations are now ongoing.

The Leader of Government Business disclosed that government’s valuation of the Corporation will be used to define its shareholding in the joint venture to be agreed upon.

He said since negotiations with potential partners are ongoing it would not be prudent to make public, at this time, details of the negotiations.

Speculation is rife that one of the parties is from neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago and controlled by the rich and powerful Sabga family.

A recent study conducted by CARTAC, an arm of the World Bank concluded that most of the state-owned bodies in Grenada are loss-making enterprises and needed to be addressed.

The study was done as part of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) initiated by Mitchell’s ruling New National Party (NNP) administration to address the island’s fiscal problems.

In 2013, Grenada defaulted on payments due to Grenada’s US Bondholders.

An IMF-brokered deal calls for the island to start repaying the bondholders from the middle of this year.

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