Ricardo Blackman’s Caribbean Headlines News Feb. 2nd

By Ricardo Blackman | CDN Barbados

Dateline Bridgetown, BARBADOS:

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) should not be ruled out as an option to help Barbados.  However, Central Bank Governor, Cleviston Haynes said government had to decide if that was the option it wanted to pursue.   In a statement on its 2017 Article IV Consultation with Barbados, the IMF’s executive board said “a stronger macroeconomic framework and bolder structural reforms are needed to achieve fiscal and debt sustainability, address the large financing needs, build adequate international reserves and boost growth”.  In the recent past, the IMF also offered its assistance to Barbados.  Speaking during his review of the economy’s performance last year, Haynes said “We need foreign exchange to drive the economy forward and the IMF has always been an option available to the government.”

The sewage crisis on the island’s south coast stands out as a notorious example of public sector inefficiency, former Central Bank Governor, Dr. Delisle Worrell suggests.  Worrell, a habitual critic of low productivity and inefficienmcy in the public sector, returned to the subject in his latest newsletter, which he describes as an economy newsletter, charging that the country was being held back by inefficiencies across the government system.  “The inefficiency of the public sector undermines the country’s competitiveness and damages its international reputation.  The current sewage crisis is the latest example of this” he wrote in the February 2018 issue of the newsletter.

Barbadians should brace to pay more for a range of imported items, the imposition being driven by external circumstances.  The international ocean transportation company, Seaboard Marine is charging more because of an increase in the United States Domestic Fuel Surcharge (USDFS).  Andrew Bynoe of AI Supermarket said he would be passing that cost on to consumers.

Political activist David Commissiong wants more public discussion on the Police (Amendment) Bill 2017.  “The main component t of this Bill is a proposal to give the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney-General the powers by themselves, to impose a two-day curfew on any geographical area within our nation or indeed across the entire island” Commissiong said.  Commissiong, who is an attorney-at-law, pointed out the current legislation did allow a period of public emergency to be called only by way of a vote ion both the House of Assembly and the Senate, and not by one of two people.  “I can’t speak for the rest of my fellow Barbadians but certainly as a citizen of Barbados, do not feel comfortable with such power being placed in the hands of the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police,” he said.

Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) President, Conde Riley has accused Kensington Oval Management Inc (KOMI) of multiple breaches of the lease agreement between the two parties.  The latest, he charges, stems from KOMI’s failure to provide a window of opportunity to facilitate smooth maintenance of the ground during major cricket tournaments.

Dateline Castries, ST. LUCIA:

Taiwan and St. Lucia have signed an agreement for police co-operation, which will see more exchanges in the area of personnel visits, training and intelligence between police officers.  The bilateral police co-operation agreement will also mean law authorities will work hand-in-hand in the prevention and policing of serious transnational crimes.

Dateline Port of Spain, TRINIDAD:

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has written Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar asking for a meeting to discuss the appointment of a Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police.  But Persad-Bissessar has responded by blanking him.  She said that at this time, the Opposition does not see this as productive ands the time will be better utilized addressing other matters.  The selection of a new Police Commissioner is now mired in controversy over the process used by the Police Service Commission to announce as the top contender, Deodath Dulalchan.

The economic downturn in Trinidad and Tobago has put a damper on some of the Carnival activities in Central Trinidad and traditional mas is the first victim.  Couva Carnival Chairman, Ramchand Raylal Maraj finds the situation appalling and says if something is not done to help the dwindling artform, it will be no more.

Dateline Kingston, JAMAICA:

The government of Jamaica will host the 7th Annual Caribbean Governors Meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on February 26th and 27th at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston.  The IDB’s Caribbean Governors are the finance and planning ministers of the institution’s Caribbean member states.  Under the theme “Jump Caribbean”, the Caribbean Governors meeting aims to help the Caribbean embrace strategically the reality of the digital revolution.






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