KINGSTON, Jamaica,Nov 17, REAL FM GRENADA- Grenada’s Running of an IMF Structural Adjustment Program received high accolades during the 2017 high-level Caribbean Forum held at the Jamaica Pegasus on November 16th.
The Tri-island state was shortlisted among prime examples including Host Country Jamaica and St.Kitts and Nevis who implemented and ran successful reform programs.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell explored with media on the sidelines of the gathering Grenada’s Fiscal Situation before the implementation of the IMF structural adjustment program in 2014. ” When we came into Government in 2013 Grenada was seen as a having negative growth for four years, clearly there was little or no growth, there was also a tremendously high unemployment too; we came into government at that time and decided that we had to do something.”
In Explaining reasons for the successful program, Prime Minister Mitchell alluded to it a multi-sectoral approach, that led to the triumphant operation. ” We met with the Trade union, the Social Partners, The conference of Churches, Business Community to come together to save our country. That call was significant, we were able to institute some major sacrifices and at the same time was able to convince friends regionally and internationally to come forward and help us because they saw we were prepared to make sacrifices. I think the result of this Home Grown Program and debt relief we have obtained, significant financial contributions that came because, of this, has made us reach the point where our Debt to GDP Ratio has dropped by over 30%. That is Highly Significant in 4 years.”
“Grenada also had the highest growth rate in the region of 5% in that same period of structural adjustment, along with the drop in unemployment from 40 % to 24%,” boasted the head of government.
Mitchell Underscored the accomplishments under the program, as being some of the driving points, in which regional & international institutions have been giving Grenada high praises for bold actions taken and where the country stands presently.
“There’s an optimism in the economic sphere of the country “, the Grenadian Leader Alluded, Much of which was explained by the leader as being inevident for a long time.
He listed benefits of the program which included:
-Increased Revenue & Grant Support
-Increased Spending on Social Programs
-Increases in Employment opportunities for young
” People now see that while they made sacrifices and they were not happy , to have to do it, at a time they were already under financial stress, they are now seeing the benefits,” said prime Minister Mitchell.
Directing comments to Regional Territories in Financial Crisis, who have not gone to the IMF for assistance, Mitchell added,” This is a decision that all of has to make. The previous Government in Grenada was offered the same thing, in fact they agreed and backed off.We have to decide to what we want. I would Certainly Say Grenada has done it , We did not send home Thousands of Workers, we got into an attrition program, we also said to people when the program was completed and some of the initiatives will be talking increased taxation we are prepared to examine it and look at a reduction, which we have done already.”
The Grenadian Leader said his administration was prepared to ease the burden of the people as the situation changes.