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ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA Monday, March 17, 2014: The Ministry of Finance and Energy wishes to advise Taxpayers and the general public of Carriacou and Petite Martinique that a team of Tax Officers will be in Carriacou and Petite Martinique from Monday, March 17th to Thursday, March 20th, 2014.

As part of their visit, the Officers will be conduct field visits; assist taxpayers in completing their returns and address tax queries. The Officers will also hold a meeting with the farmers on Wednesday, 19th March at the Resource Centre from 5:00pm.

Additionally there will be a Taxpayer Service Desk at the District Revenue Office in Carriacou on Tuesday, 18th March between the hours of 9:00am to 3:00pm.

Taxpayers are urged to take advantage of these services, to address any queries or concerns and to seek clarification on tax matters.

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ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA Monday, March 17, 2014: The Inland Revenue Division (IRD) of the Ministry of Finance and Energy advises the general public that the issuing of Demand Notices for Property Tax has commenced.

Property owners are reminded that agricultural lands can only be zero rated when the IRD receives a land use certificate, which has been issued by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Individuals who have had a change in their mailing address are urged to notify the Valuation Section of the IRD.

Property Owners are further reminded that payments made on or before June 30th 2014 are entitled to a 5% rebate on their tax for 2014.

All property owners are asked to take note.

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA Monday, March 17, 2014: The General public is hereby informed that, effective, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, the retail prices of petroleum products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene and LPG {Cooking Gas}) in the State of Grenada will be as follows:

GRENADA

Products Old Price New Price

Gasoline $15.34/IG $15.80/IG

Diesel $15.06/IG $15.08/IG

Kerosene $12.19/IG $12.55/IG

L.P.G (Cooking Gas): Old Price New Price

20 lbs Cylinder $45.00 $45.00

100 lbs Cylinder $266.59 $270.54

Bulk $2.72/lb $2.76/lb

CARRIACOU

Products Old Price New Price

Gasoline $15.50/IG $15.96/IG

Diesel $15.22/IG $15.25/IG

Kerosene $12.36/IG $12.72/IG

CARRIACOU & PETITE MARTINIQUE

L.P.G (Cooking Gas) Old Price New Price

20 lbs Cylinder $54.00 $54.00

100 lbs Cylinder $289.59 $293.54

Bulk $2.72/lb $2.76/lb

PETITE MARTINIQUE:

Products Old Price New Price

Gasoline $12.49/IG $12.96/IG

Diesel $12.22/IG $12.24/IG

Kerosene $12.35/IG $12.71/IG

The new Retail Prices are computed based on the average FOB costs: that is; (Ex-refinery prices), for the period, 11th February, 2014 to 11th March, 2014.

It important for the public to understand that petroleum prices are likely to remain high since Grenada imports nearly all of its fuel. Consumers are, therefore, urged to act wisely by conserving and using energy efficiently.

Furthermore, consumers are encouraged to immediately notify the Price control/Consumer Affairs Unit in the Ministry of Finance of any instance of overpricing at telephone number 440-1369.

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA Monday, March 17, 2014: The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance met today with a delegation led by the Presidents of the major public sector unions: Public Workers Union, Grenada Union of Teachers and Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union; to update them on the status of the third installment of retroactive payment which was scheduled to be paid on February 28, 2014.

Mrs. Beryl Isaac, Chairman of the Government Negotiating Team also attended the meeting.

The Ministry of Finance informed the unions that based on current efforts, it hopes to be in a position to make the payment by mid-April 2014. However, this is not a certainty. The unions were given the assurance that the payment of the third installment will be made by June 2014.

The Ministry of Finance also informed the Unions’ leadership that in light of the delay in the payment of the third installment, the fourth and final installment scheduled for May 2014 may need to be rescheduled. The new payment date will be confirmed in due course and in a timely manner.

Both sides agreed to meet monthly to discuss this and other issues of mutual interest.

The Government of Grenada reaffirms its commitment to meet its obligations to public officers, teachers, police officers and prison officers. Furthermore, Government thanks all its employees for their patience and understanding in this very challenging period.

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, March 16, 2014 – GIS: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached an agreement with the Grenada government for a three-year US$21.9 million dollar programme.

A release from the IMF says the Extended Credit Facility is to support an ambitious programme, embarked on by the one-year-old Keith Mitchell administration, to correct the country’s fiscal imbalances and lift sustainable growth.

The agreement is expected to further bolster initiatives, already set in motion by the new government, aimed at cutting expenditure and raising new stream of revenue.

The new programme, the IMF says, is aimed at restoring fiscal and debt sustainability, boosting long-term growth through structural reforms, and safeguarding the financial sector.

“The agreement reached with the authorities is subject to approval of the IMF’s Executive Board and is contingent upon the timely completion of prior actions to be taken by the Grenadian authorities and obtaining the necessary financing assurances,” Aliona Cebotari, IMF mission chief to Grenada, said.

“The cornerstone of the programme is a strong fiscal adjustment focused on curbing current spending and widening the revenue base, while maintaining space for infrastructure spending and social safety nets.”

Ahead of the weekend announcement by the IMF, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell told a meeting of stakeholders, fine tuning a five-year growth and poverty reduction strategy on Friday, that a collective approach is required for Grenada to meet the targets of the IMF deal.

Previous Growth facility and extended growth facility programmes with the IMF collapsed under the previous Tillman Thomas administration after they failed to meet IMF targets.

“Another key element of the program is to bolster competitiveness and thus raise sustainable growth and reduce poverty,” Cebotari said.

“Reforms will focus on removing constraints to growth through the liberalization in the renewable energy and other strategic sectors, improving the investment environment, and putting in place the legal infrastructure for public private partnerships.”

Prime Minister Mitchell has said that Grenada was unable to pay its creditors and was seeking the assistance of the international community to restructure its debt.

The IMF deal is expected to pave the way for Grenada to access at least US$100 million in grants and soft loans from donors and friendly countries.

“The fiscal adjustment will be complemented by a comprehensive debt restructuring, which will aim to secure meaningful debt reduction, address financing shortfalls, and put Grenada’s public debt firmly on a downward path towards the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU)’s regional target of 60 per cent of GDP by 2020,” the IMF official said.

“Grenada will emerge stronger and more dynamic from the programme, and it will be better poised to generate growth and job creation going forward.”

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — England’s Ravi Bopara and West Indies’ Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels have been fined for a level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct during the first Twenty20 International (T20I) in Barbados on Sunday.

The three players were found to have breached Article 2.1.8 of the code, which states: “Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the (above) offence, conduct that either: (a) is contrary to the spirit of the game; or (b) brings the game into disrepute”.

All the three players pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the sanctions proposed by Andy Pycroft of Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, so there was no need for a formal hearing.

The incident took place in the 12th over of England’s innings when Bopara, while taking a single, made insulting comments towards Samuels, who responded. West Indies captain Sammy joined in, also trading insults with Bopara. The exchange only ceased with the intervention of the on-field umpires Joel Wilson and Peter Nero.

For their involvements in the incident, Bopara was fined 25 percent of his match fee, while Sammy and Samuels were fined 20 and 10 percent respectively.

Besides the on-field umpires, the charge was also laid by third umpire Gregory Brathwaite as well as fourth official Nigel Duguid.

All Level 1 breaches for this offence carry a penalty of a warning/reprimand and/or the imposition of a fine up to 50 percent of the applicable match fee.

ROSEAU, Dominica — The 2014 pre-Lenten carnival weekend was undoubtedly a memorable one for music from Grenada.

While Hollice “Mr Killa” Mapp was creating mayhem with his “Rolly Pollies”, and Wilt “Tallpree” Cambridge continued to establish a “Jab Jab nation” outside of Grenada from their temporary base in Trinidad, Finley “Scholar” Jeffrey had journeyed to “The Nature Isle” – Dominica – for carnival celebrations there.

In Dominica, traditional calypso music reigns supreme; and Scholar was in Dominica to share his genius in calypso composition and performance.

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Finley “Scholar” Jeffrey

The seven-time Grenada Calypso Monarch was the guest of the Dominica Calypso Association that made arrangement for his visit in collaboration with Duncan Stowe, a prominent calypso analyst.

“Not surprisingly, the Grenadian calypsonian and schoolteacher did not disappoint in his guest appearance last Saturday at the final of Dominica’s calypso competition,” said lawyer Arley Gill, the former Grenada culture minister, who now works in Dominica.

In a tight and intense battle among the Dominican finalists, King Dice was crowned for the seventh time as the country’s Calypso Monarch.

Scholar sang two of his massive hits, “Love Life” and “Man Gone, Man Dey”.

“He wowed the crowd and earned the admiration of arguably the most passionate calypso audience in the Caribbean,” Gill said when asked to comment on Scholar’s performance.

“Love Life” was one of Scholar’s selections in the 2006 CARIFESTA competition in which he placed among the top five in a contest that included Trinidadians such as Cro Cro, Sugar Aloes, Singing Sandra and Luta.

Scholar teased the Dominicans with “Man Gone, Man Dey” – a rendition that tells the story of young men who are bent on being violent, and who end up in prison. When they go to jail, sings Scholar, other men will enjoy the company of their girlfriends.

The audience enjoyed the lyrics and music as they swayed with hails of laughter and joviality that belied the fact that they were hearing the song for the first time.

Scholar endeared himself to the women folk when he declared that, “Dominica is a nice woman factory”; he won their hearts. There were calls for “more”. But, Scholar eventually exited the stage to facilitate the second round of the Calypso Monarch competition.

“It was great entertainment in a tense competition and brought a welcome relief to the audience,” said Gill. “The audience could not get enough of Scholar’s short performance.”

Gill said Grenadian bards have established an outstanding track record of performances in Dominica, going back three decades with former Grenada Calypso Monarchs, Flying Turkey and Smokey.

“Many Dominicans reminisce of one Flying Turkey who competed in a sub-regional competition there in 1984 singing, “Writing on the Wall” and “Baron”. Turkey came second then, but there is the quiet concession that to the audience, he probably won after all,” Gill said.

“Whatever it is, Turkey left an indelible mark here in this calypso country, Dominica. Smokey competed the year after. Well, Scholar renewed that Grenada presence here. The general sentiment among Dominicans is, ‘That Mister bad”’.

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Exhibition booths at the 30th annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference and exhibition, which opened on Monday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Photos: Manish Shah

MIAMI, USA — The 30th annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference and exhibition opened on Monday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The show runs through Thursday, March 13.

The annual gathering usually draws around 11,000 attendees, but UBM, owner and organizer of Cruise Shipping Miami, anticipates a jump of more than 30 percent in visitors and delegates to the three-day exhibition and four-day conference. The trade show, which is almost 10 percent larger than last year, features 140 new exhibitors for a total of nearly 900 exhibiting companies from 127 countries.

“No one could have predicted 30 years ago that from a meeting of 150 cruise executives in a hotel in New York that Cruise Shipping Miami would grow to become the industry’s premier annual event,” said Daniel Read, director of UBM’s Cruise Event Portfolio. “The conference sessions, state of the global cruise industry panels, emerging products zone and cruise trends theater all will address issues and developments that will shape the cruise industry of the future.”

Cruise Shipping Miami kicked off on Monday with the World Cruise Tourism Summit, a series of roundtable discussions led by industry experts.

The conference officially opens on Tuesday, with the “State of the Global Cruise Industry” plenary session featuring the top executives from the world’s largest cruise corporations: Carnival Corporation & plc, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises.

The session also features Katty Kay, anchor of “BBC World News America,” as the event’s first moderator from outside the cruise industry.

New for 2014 are three additional “state of the global cruise industry” panels led by cruise line chief executives addressing trends and developments in the world’s major cruise regions: the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The exhibition, which covers all four halls of the Miami Beach Convention Center, officially opens Tuesday morning and closes Thursday afternoon.

Represented in the trade show are the world’s largest shipbuilders, 400 destinations, cutting-edge information technology providers, ship equipment suppliers and entertainment companies. New this year is an interactive Food and Beverage Pavilion focusing on the latest in shipboard culinary trends, products and equipment. Other industry sectors include ship design and refurbishment, ship services and hotel operations.

The exhibition features trade delegations from Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Spain and Turkey.

NEWTOWNARDS, Northern Ireland — The consulate of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the community of Ards in Northern Ireland ‘made history’ on Monday (Commonwealth Day) when it joined 500 other communities across the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man in raising the Commonwealth flag in Newtownards.

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Dr Christopher Stange (R), Hon. Consul for St Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland, and Cllr. Stephen McIlveen, Mayor of Ards with the Commonwealth flag

Mayor of Ards, Councillor Stephen McIlveen, was joined by Dr Christopher Stange of the consulate for St Vincent and the Grenadines to Northern Ireland, for the flag-raising ceremony.

The event was part of the largest, single, raising of the Commonwealth flag in the history of the Commonwealth, an initiative which aimed to demonstrate a widespread public commitment to the Commonwealth, appreciation of the values it stands for, and the opportunities offered to its citizens around the world.

McIlveen, said: “This was a simple, yet very visible demonstration of our support for the Commonwealth’s shared goals of democracy, development and respect for diversity and I was privileged to be able to raise the flag in the company of Dr Stange and at the same moment as hundreds of other communities across the UK and the 53 countries which form the Commonwealth.”

Stange commented: “It has been a privilege to be involved with Ards Borough Council to commemorate Commonwealth Day. SVG is one of the few remaining Commonwealth realms with the consulate based in Comber. History, culture, shared values of human rights, democracy and rule of law unites the 53 member states. We look forward to the Commonwealth Games this year in Glasgow, building upon the long standing relations between St Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom.”

ROSEAU, Dominica — Law enforcement officials here have admitted that a gun amnesty launched in Dominica a few years ago has failed.

The gun amnesty, which was spearheaded by the government of Dominica, was geared towards persons with illegal firearms.

They were asked to bring these firearms to the police and would not face any charges; however, according to reports, only two persons took advantage of that.

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Assistant Superintendent Inspector Claude Weekes (File Photo)

Speaking on the heels of several gun related incidents over the past few months, Assistant Superintendent Inspector Claude Weekes has made further appeal to young persons who own illegal firearms to hand them over.

“You are putting yourselves in serious problems, you do not have a licence and it’s not registered,” Weekes told CBN4 news.

He warned that the police will spare no effort in recovery of these firearms.

“If we have an intelligence, we will get at you, we will extract and get the firearms… we are sending a strong message and please comply with the police,” he added.

According to Weekes, the government has implemented a number of amnesties and none were successful.

“We did not see firearms coming in at all. People were holding on to their firearms despite the plea by the relevant authorities; the police; the government; the church fraternity and others…,”he stated.

He further noted that, in the old Act, if one was found guilty of owning an illegal firearm that individual would be fined $6,000; however, in the recent Act, one could be charged up to $15,000-$20,000 and sentenced to 8-10 years in prison.

“The laws are there and we are charging people… countries all over the world are concerned about small arms. They are concerned about firearm related offences and we should not take it for a joke here in Dominica,” he explained.

“if people are caught with firearms without licence and it’s not registered they must be dealt with according to the law,” Weekes added.

Meanwhile, Police Superintendent David Andrew said the failure of the gun amnesty has forced police to develop a new strategy; one that he said is bearing fruit.

“Since the amnesty did not bear fruit, the police developed a strategy, an intelligence driven methodology and I can assure you that it had been bearing great fruits,” he said.

In fact, he said, using the new method, “In one year we were able to identify, locate and seize as many as 22 unlawful, unlicensed firearms.”

Republished with permission of CBN4News

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