NDC’s transformative agenda tabled in Parliament
The delivery of the Throne Speech by Her Excellency Dame Dr. Cecile La Grenade, Governor General of Grenada, at the first session of the Eleventh Parliament to both Houses of parliament, at the Parliament Building on Tuesday, sets the tone of the Dickon Mitchell Led National Democrat Congress (NDC) Government’s, transformative agenda, the party’s campaign seller in the buildup to the June 23rd General Election.
The two-hour long speech by the Governor General sought to lay the basis as well as gave an insight into the government’s plan for the next five years, one they claim to be result oriented, with a focus on the implementation of Strategic, programmes, projects and policies to gain maximum benefit from available resources.
With the theme: Transformative Development Towards a Sustainable, Equitable and Prosperous Grenada, the government noted that they hope to achieve this fete, by addressing the nation’s social and economic challenges, through transformation, particularly in the areas of education and health, since according to them, a healthy mind and body is the foundation on which the country must build and achieve sustainable growth to improve the quality of life for its citizens.
The seventeen-page document presented to the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament, outlined among other things, Grenada’s continued commitment and support for a coordinated regional foreign policy approach that engages the rest of the world. Additionally, the country’s commitment to the integration process by supporting regional institutions such as CARICOM, the OECS, the ACS, among others.
To ensure the success of its massive undertakings, the Dickon Mitchell administration in its throne speech, pledged to work with all Grenadians in the process of national development, irrespective of political affiliation.
The government also committed itself to encourage self-reliance and the creation of wealth, in an effort to build a sustainable and prosperous society. The speech noted that government is fully committed to delivering on its mandate, but hastened to add that true success can only be achieved with the support and action of all its citizens, both at home and in the Diaspora.
The speech also noted that Grenada’s fiscal position is predicted to improve in 2023 and over the medium term, and therefore projects earmark for the medium term, would be tailored toward achieving this objective, while at the same time, safeguarding fiscal credibility and sustainability.
Additionally, it was said, in an effort to address cash flow challenges, and increase the volume of business transactions in the economy, the government is moving ahead with plans to pay public workers twice per month by the first quarter of 2023. This, it is said, would be done in conjunction with the private sector with a view of standardizing this operation throughout the country.
Also worthy of note, was the government’s move toward the legalization of cannabis. The throne speech noted that cannabis will be legalized and a legal and regulatory framework for its production and sale will be created to commence and guide the development of the industry. Focus, it is said, will be on medical and industrial use of the plant.
Also of note, would be the implementation of Local Government in Carriacou and free universal education for all up to community college.
As it relates to youth empowerment, the NDC government plans to re-look the IMANI programme to provide more industry-ready training, that will lead to sustainable employment. The social safety net programme will be retained and will be enhanced and take into consideration genuine community empowerment, particularly in rural areas.
In the areas of agriculture, and in particular the transformation of the sector, the government hopes to implement the spice replanting programme and plant-a-tree campaign, enhance the Mirabeau Agriculture School, Restructure the Marketing and National Importing Board, and procurement service in collaboration with farmers and commodity boards, develop an agro-processing service unit to provide advice, coordinate and assist entrepreneurs in the development and packaging of products.