Friday, January 4, 2013

Letter: PP set for big things in 2013: Rambachan

The People’s Partnership Government is poised for great things in 2013. With investor confidence returning to the energy sector both in terms of foreign and local investments, a major boost to the energy sector is in the making.

Besides this, the announcement by the Ministry of National Security that several Police and Fire Stations are already being constructed will provide a fillip to the construction sector, this in addition to the 6000 houses targeted by the Ministry of Housing. 

Also expected to contribute to the revitalization of the construction sector will be the speed with which housing and land developers take advantage of the government’s offering of tax incentives in the last Budget where profits will be tax free.

To all of this must be added the agreement by the Chinese Gov’t to loan TT $950 million for the Children’s Hospital. The Ministry of Local Government is also set to begin the process for the construction of two Administrative Complexes in Arima and Princes Town.

Not to be outdone is the Ministry of Sports who will be constructing a number of pavilions and developing several recreational facilities in rural and semi urban communities. 

Incidentally thirty three pavilions are carded for construction by the special purpose companies under the Ministry of Local Government. A number of Early Childhood Centers will continue apace under the Ministry of Education in addition to Primary and Secondary Schools. In all of the above, there is clear evidence of economic activity.

On another note, the year 2013 is not expected to be as turbulent as was 2012 in so far as the Industrial Relations scene is concerned. The PP Govt had inherited approximately 75 outstanding wage and salary agreements, of which 45 have been successfully negotiated by the end of 2012, a remarkable achievement for any government. This was done despite the strong adversarial role adopted by some members of the trade union movement and their declared intention to bring down the government.

To its credit despite being brought under intense scrutiny by the media, the PP government was very gracious in its response to the media and in fact can claim that freedom of expression is at its best ever under this administration. While there have been verbal clashes between some parliamentarians and the media, the protection of the press and its independence as enshrined in the constitution continue to be respected to the fullest by the PP Govt.

True to its promise and in line with the PM’s mantra of listening and then acting, the Chancery Lane Building in San Fernando was converted into the Teaching Hospital which is intended to provide a range of professional out-patient services in the first instance to citizens. The facility has been described as state of the art and a video on “U Tube” testifies to the sophisticated equipment available which makes it world class. 218 new beds will be added to this facility and the upgrade of the San Fernando Hospital will also take place.

The PP Gov’t not only ensured that freedom of speech was protected but in the Parliament but the PP Gov’t also set new standards for the development of Parliamentary Democracy by answering all of the questions filed in the Parliament by the Opposition and Independent Senators. 

Without a doubt this is history making for it demonstrated that the Gov’t is open and transparent in its governance and is willing to face the public through their representatives. This openness was also displayed by the manner in which the JCC was accommodated in their desire to review the highway to Pont Fortin. The Gov’t has been very open through NIDCO in producing all the documentation required by the JCC. The public must note that the govt not only speaks about transparency but practices it.

In 2013, other great things will also happen including the start-up of the expanded Nursing Program in El Dorado, the training of 147 Litter Wardens and the training of 50 Public Health Inspectors. 
Besides these, the Debe Campus continues apace as well as the Highway to Point Fortin.

Towards the end of 2012, the country also witnessed the introduction of over twenty five special buses dedicated to the transport of differently able persons thus demonstrating the fact that the Gov’t cares for the differently able. This is also unparalleled by any other administration. The conversion of PTSC buses to use CNG is also proceeding at a rapid pace and is further testimony of the Govt’s concern for the environment and for cleaner air.

In terms of food security, the govt continues to provide the infrastructure to the farming community through revised agricultural incentives, ponds and access roads. Indeed, no govt has built and rehabilitated as many kilometres of agricultural access roads as the PP Government.

Dr Suruj Rambachan, MP, 
Minister of Local Government | Deputy Political Leader of the UNC

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai