April 8, 2011
Government to borrow US$2.5m

A bill was passed in the House of Assembly at its sitting on April 5, 2011, to authorize the Government to borrow US$2.57 million from the CARICOM Development Fund.{{more}}

The CARICOM Development Fund is a financing mechanism established under the revised treaty of Chaguaramas to assist disadvantaged countries, economies and sectors in the CARICOM region.

In explaining the reason for the fund, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that countries like St Vincent and the Grenadines provide a protected market for manufactured goods from the so called MDCS since there is no common external tariff for goods originating in CARICOM.

The CARICOM Development Fund, says the Prime Minister, is a compensatory mechanism and is part of the “Juridical Architecture of the revised treaty of Chaguaramas”. It is a fund that is to balance off the disadvantaged position of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Prime Minister emphasized. He noted that this sort of mechanism is necessary if the CARICOM integration movement is to survive.

He said that there is no Government “more committed to CARICOM than St Vincent and the Grenadines”. But he hastened to add that any integration movement must subscribe to the Aristotelian Principle of “equity among equals, proportionality among unequals”.

In addition to the US$2.57 million loan, the Government will receive grants totaling US$1.7 million. These monies will be used for the purchase of equipment to crush stones for the paring of the Argyle International Airport.