By Lloyd Noel
The $1.1 billion budget, for the next eight months of 2013, is now in place for the newly elected clean-sweep government to run the nation’s affairs.
The discussions in both Houses of Parliament were interesting – from what I heard on occasions when I was able to tune in.
|Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator|
But with no one in opposition to even raise an objection to anything that comes up in Parliament on any issue, the government in power can virtually do as it pleases, period.
The contributions by the three NDC senators in the Upper House, and to a lesser extent by the three public services senators in the said House, were also as expected but without teeth.
In the absence of any opposition MPs in the Lower House, Dr George Vincent, who lost the St John’s Seat to Alvin Da Breo, was appointed as chairman of the Parliamentary Committee that will supervise and identify concerns involving financial undertakings of government.
As an NDC senator in the Upper House, he will chair the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and will be joined by the three NNP MPs who were not appointed to any government ministerial positions.
that is a very democratic decision, in the broader interest of the people as a whole, and shows that the government in control is thinking ahead.
With no opposition in Parliament as such, the leadership of the ruling party must take some precautionary measures to ensure that there are checks and balances in place – especially when it comes down to public spending by departments and ministries that are now being controlled by a lot of new guys at the top.
And the Public Accounts Committee is a good place to start with that chairman, and it is to be hoped that the other members thereof would give him their fullest support.
With all the new ministries now in control, and their budgetary allocations approved by Parliament for the next eight months, we should be seeing some movements with new workers in the various parishes, as we come up to the 90 days of those in control.
And the latest news bulletin about the head of state is that the new governor general will be taking over her position as of the 7th May, and Sir Carlyle Glean will be moving on into retirement – and with his departure all the major heads of government departments under the NDC regime will have been changed over.
Sir Carlyle Glean did bring a certain cool and dignified approach to that high office, and we wish himself and Lady Glean good health and God’s blessings in retirement.
So now that everyone and everything are in their respective offices and places, we are all waiting to see where we going and how we are planning to get wherever.
We have heard about the Kuwaiti Fund, and the CCC roads and bridges contract that are expected to provide hundreds of jobs around the countryside but to-date no signs of any gangs at work in any of the parishes on such projects, so the waiting games continues.
Whereas a lot of youths in the Imani and other training programs that have more or less reached the allotted time span, have in most cases been sent home – although the last government had promised to keep them employed.
Those young folks were receiving a small stipend during the training, and now all that has ended – but recently I heard officials in the Ministry of Youth Affairs, announcing that the program will be resumed in one form or another to assist those youngsters.
There can be no denying the facts that things are rough, and the economic situation is not getting any better with the passage of time – and that state of affairs is not going to disappear anytime soon.
In those circumstances, therefore, our people, like others in the region and further afield, have to be even more prepared to make some sacrifices, and reorganize their life-styles to be able to cope with the hard times – while waiting on the powers-that-be to bring about the promised better economic times ahead.
Just sitting around liming, and complaining that things are not happening as quickly as expected, or as was promised during the election campaign by the absolute winners, will make no difference.
We have to get up, and get cracking as a people with the responsibility for our own good and welfare – and not simply by sitting around waiting on others to provide our needs.
True enough, those in control of our nation’s affairs have a certain level of responsibility to help in the provision of those needs, because they are being paid for so doing, and also enjoying a certain standard of welfare and good living that their honourable positions provide.
So that while we must do our best to provide for ourselves and families, we also must ensure that those we have elected to take charge of our affairs, and help in bringing about a much better standard of living for our people in general, are in fact doing as much, and a whole lot more to be able to get the people’s votes the next time around.
The process of securing majority votes at election must not be just during the time of campaigning after the date has been announced but must be continued and the promises implemented as far as it is possible before the time for the next campaign comes around.
We now have the billion-dollar budget in place, and all the new ministers are assigned and ready to take off, it is hoped.
And our new local governor general will be in office by the 7th May, so we wish her a very successful reign as the first female to hold that position.