Monday, December 10, 2018

PM: “We will deliver to the People of Saint Lucia!”

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Press Release:- Prime Minister Honourable Allen M. Chastanet gave an extensive and passionate presentation to the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce on Thursday November 15th 2018 as he addressed a packed room of members of the local business sector. The broad discussion touched on a variety of areas including infrastructure, health care, education and economic development.

The Prime Minister began by updating the Chamber on current and proposed development projects for Saint Lucia, starting from the north to the south of the island. Among the projects: the planned expansion of major hotels in the Rodney Bay and Gros Islet area, new tourism projects for the Choc area, the expansion of Saint Lucia Distillers, the construction of the Fairmont Hotel in Choiseul and the DSH Pearl of the Caribbean Project. The Prime Minister also spoke to critical public sector projects such as the redevelopment of Hewanorra International Airport, the redevelopment of Castries, rehabilitation of road infrastructure, social programmes and efforts to address the nation’s security.

“We have come to an agreement with the Taiwanese Government who have agreed to lend us 100 million US dollars to be able to do that project,” explained the Prime Minister, while also adding that the loan is being supported by the airport development charge. An additional $50 Million will be borrowed from Taiwan for major upgrades of existing roads island-wide. The Prime Minister noted that the road rehabilitation charge on gasoline will also be used to service the loan.

When it came to health care, the Prime Minister updated the business community on plans for National Health Insurance, the strengthening of the nation’s primary health care facilities and the phased opening of the OK-EU hospital. With regard to the construction of the St. Jude Hospital the Prime Minister said the designs and the engineering drawings have been completed and funding has been secured for the proposed new wing.

“We are moving as fast as we possible can to rectify that situation,” PM Chastanet said following a recap of the immense missteps which had led the nation to this point. “We

know the challenges that exist at the stadium and we are working with the staff as best as we possibly can to make them as comfortable as possible, but we recognize and understand the frustration by both the people who are working there, as well as the citizens who have to depend on it. The fact is we have to do things the right way and I can assure all Saint Lucians that you will be very proud of the development. I am comfortable that once you have all the financing, you have the design completed and you have a great company doing the implementation that you should not see a repeat of what happened the last five years.

The Prime Minister also said that the Government tackling issues concerning the pace of the implementation of programmes and projects and has engaged the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), which was set up by Malaysia, to assist Saint Lucia in that regard. PEMANDU will be focused on six key areas of Agriculture, Tourism, Infrastructure, Health, Education and Social Development.

Key indicators in the economy have been encouraging, said the Prime Minister, noting that tourism continues to show signs of growth and consumption and economic activity is on the rise.

“We have already seen that with the reduction of the Value Added Tax rate of 12.5 percent we are currently collecting slightly more money than we were collecting when we were at 15 percent,” said PM Chastanet. “So mathematically that tells you that the turnover in the economy is absolutely there.”

Also encouraging, said the Prime Minister, was growth in the Information Technology sector which has seen the creation of 2000 new jobs. He singled out the expansion of KM2 and OJO Labs. The Prime Minister also spoke about the National Apprenticeship Programme and the partnership with Monroe College which will see hundreds of Saint Lucian young people receive hands on hospitality training.

“We continue on course and I am very encouraged,” said the Prime Minister about overall development. “The amount of money that is about to start flowing into this economy and the investment that we are going to be making into the infrastructure of this country . . . there is a lot of work taking place on the ground and we are moving. What we are focused on is developing this country, improving the physical capacity, improving the human capacity and improving the bureaucratic capacity of this country.

“We have been able to attract a record amount of new investment to come into this country. We have taken our time to be responsible and ensure the EIAs are done and we follow the law and to make sure it is going to benefit every Saint Lucian,” noted PM Chastanet, who also highlighted support to local entrepreneurs through the St Lucia Development Bank, training opportunities for young people, development and reenergizing of youth programmes. “We are calm, cool, collected and focused and we will deliver to the people of Saint Lucia.”

As he closed his presentation, which included questions from the attendees, PM Chastanet explained that the plan of Building a New Saint Lucia where all can benefit is the priority.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Borrow. Borrow. Borrow. Who will pay it back? You. Me. Our children. Smh. Our children’s future are being mortgaged by these cohort of idiots running the government

  2. This is all business bs talk until we see action it us moot. You have two years left and most of your campaign promises are not half way finished. You stop the construction on st Jude, what about removing the remainder of VAT. Nothing on IMPACS yet and only the horse race is under construction for DAH.

  3. Judge people by their deeds not by their words for great talkers are usually great liars. During the last campaign for general elections, Chastanet and his party promised the people utopia. Have you seen or felt it? I sincerely hope all that he so eloquently spoke about, at this particular function, come to fruition but judging from his past statements, I have huge misgivings. People’s wages and salaries have remained stagnant yet they are taxed to compensate for the government’s unprecedented borrowing. The people deserve an economy that works for everybody not just for hoteliers and business people with predatory practices. In my humble opinion, this present administration is a top down government. What would be much better for the people is a bottom up government. Instead of the government deciding what is best for the people, they should go out in every community and hear directly from the people. Afford the people the opportunity to tell the Ministers about their needs and concerns. Too many administrations think that they know what is best for the people because the people are incapable of thinking for themselves. The people’s mantra should be – Action not Promises……… Servant leadership not Dictatorship.

  4. Only if you’ll new that’s what chastnet is best at. Saying the things you want to hear. The man is a great motivational speaker. But people change let’s see.

    • Try walking in Castries with a weapon, let’s see if it has improved. Can’t do everything one time, crime is always an issue but you have to agree that steps have been taken and the fact that it is mentioned means it has not been ignored.

      • So are we saying that mentioning something means something is being done about it? Its only being mentioned because the politicians know that this is what the people wants to hear and as often as they can mention it to make you gullible feel good then they will. Mentioning something and addressing it has a vast difference. Can you please give me the crime statistics for the past 2 and a half years.

      • Every honest citizen or resident knows that the government has failed miserably against crime fighting. The murders, car thefts, robberies, rapes are outrageously too high for a tiny country like St. Lucia. This should be the main preoccupation of government. Instead of giving the requisite attention and resources to this priority, they give lip service. St. Lucia is not only made up of Castries. National security, healthcare, unemployment, underemployment, political division, infrastructure, education, technological development, civil servants salaries, exploitation of security guards and other local workers by foreign business entities need special attention.

    • Can you say something with some intelligence, even if you agree or disagree. Anyway all these things sound good and If they were to happen St. Lucia will be a better country for it.

    • Lynn, I believe T understood the article better than you. Chastanet is doing all of that borrowing and he will not be around to pay it back. Is the current youth and their children along with the other generations to come that will be charged with paying back all those loans. St. Lucia is on it’s way to becoming a Chinese colony.

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