PR – The development of an incubator for the operation of small business and agro-processing in Carriacou was one of the suggestions made, when residents of the island met with Ministry of Finance officials that are preparing Grenada’s 2023 budget.
Among other suggestions offered during the interactive budget consultation was the need for digitalization of the Births and Deaths Office in Carriacou. At the moment, it takes about two (2) weeks for residents of Carriacou and Petite Martinique to obtain an official birth certificate.
The visiting Ministry of Finance team included Acting Comptroller of Inland Revenue Sheena Lewis; Chief Budget Officer Justin Hazzard; and Sheldon Noel of the Policy Development Unit. They were joined at the session by Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs & Local Government, Hon. Tevin Andrews.
Ms. Sheena Lewis, in a presentation, gave an overview of her department and requested suggestions on how best they can improve services to Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Resident Amanda Jack said there is the need to widen the tax base, allowing more people to contribute and lessening the tax burden on particular sections of the population.
Other recommendations that were put to the team included a call for the development of a skills training centre at T.A. Marryshow Community College, where physical infrastructure expansion is ongoing.
With improved health care services by 2025 listed as the top priority of the government’s transformational agenda, a proposal also was made for a public/private partnership with Carriacou Health Services to improve the delivery of health care services on island.
The cost of fuel on the mainland, a longstanding concern, was also raised at the consultation, where suggestion was offered for the standardization of petroleum products nationwide. Minister Andrews said the issue is being looked at by the Government and soon an announcement will be made.
While all suggestions may not be taken aboard, they will assist in shaping the transformational agenda for Carriacou & Petite Martinique, the Minister said.