Grenada Finance Minister blames media for lack of investor confidence
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Thursday, September 13, 2012 – Embattled Finance Minister Nazim Burke has failed to specifically explain why the salary payments for government workers were late for the second time in three months.
Government workers, including reportedly some members of parliament, were caught unawares when their salary deposits were not made to their bank accounts at the end of August and it was not until early September that the workers received the estimated EC $20 million owed to them.
While media reports have cited top officials in the Ministry of Finance as saying that the money was secured from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), in his first public comment on the late salary payment, Burke refused to confirm or deny that government received a bailout from the NIS.
In an interview with veteran broadcaster Lew Smith yesterday (September 12), Burke, who is also deputy leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), said he was not prepared to “give a running commentary’’ on the borrowings or other related financial matters of government.
In the radio interview on GBN’s “To the Point’’, Burke pointed toward the global economic downturn and huge national deficit left by the previous New National Party administration as a contributing factor in the country’s economic woes.
He also admitted that lack of confidence in the current NDC administration might be a factor in the failure to attract foreign investors to the country.
“Grenadian journalists and media people (are) pushing that line throughout the Caribbean to ensure that they discredit the government,’’ Burke said. “But in the process of doing that, investors in the Caribbean are saying Grenada is not a place to put my money at the moment; not realizing that they hurting the country; not realizing that they are shooting themselves in the foot.’’
Burke, after outlining a series of proposed infrastructural projects aimed at job creation, told Smith that “things are looking good’’ for Grenada. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. ( )