Grenada government accused of selling state properties
ST GEORGE'S, Grenada, Monday December 3, 2012 – The main opposition New National Party (NNP) has accused the Grenada government of selling off state properties and illegally borrowing funds from the National insurance Scheme (NIS) to meet the salaries of public servants.
NNP leader and former prime minister Dr. Keith Mitchell told supporters at a public meeting in Crochu on the island's east coast Sunday that the Tillman Thomas administration had taken EC$14 million (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) from the NIS to meet its financial obligations to public workers.
"The Mt Hartman Plant area, one of the most lucrative properties in the country owned by the government, they sold it my friend to pay salaries. On Friday that went through. My friends these are not them say. I have seen the copies myself," Mitchell said, warning that there were other state-owned properties to be sold to ease the government’s financial woes.
"They are selling everything. You are hearing that they sell the rest of the shares in GRENLEC (Grenada Electricity Company). You are hearing they are selling the rest of the shares in Cable and Wireless and in in the Grenada Breweries. Well let me tell you all of those shares were sold as of a few weeks ago," Mitchell said, as he again appealed to Prime Minister Thomas to reconvene Parliament so that the issues could be debated.
"Tillman Thomas must understand that these properties are not his own. These (belong) to the people. He has no right to sell those properties without the people of the country involved, and without parliament.
"And because they selling and not putting it out on the public for sale, they are taking what they get because they desperate for money," he said, adding “this country is being destroyed by a bunch of bandits”.
Mitchell also accused the government of seeking to inflate their public service with their “friends” and that they have also agreed to give public servants an increase in salaries.
"In other words when NNP get there it would have to pay the bill," he said, adding that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is committing the country to long term expenses without parliamentary approval or oversight.
"You know how you call that. It's a scorched earth policy. That is the mindset of the bandits that now exist in government,” he told supporters.
The Grenada government was unable to pay public servants their salaries in August on time and said it regretted the delay “but wishes to assure all public workers that they will be paid”.
Parliament was prorogued earlier this year as the government faced the prospect of having to debate a second motion of no confidence within a two month period.
Ever since it won the 2008 general election ousting the NNP from office after 13 unbroken years, the NDC has been plagued with infighting resulting in the dismissal or resignation of several government ministers.
A new party, the National United Front (NUF), comprising former members of the NDC, was launched here last week and it said it would contest the 2013 poll. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)