ST. GEORGE’S: In an attempt to secure much needed funds for job creation and the revival of the economy, Government has designed cost cutting measures, which it says, will save approximately EC$ 60 million dollars.
The measures were outlined by Prime Minister Dr. the Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell, as he presented the 2013 Budget, Tuesday 16 April at the Grenada Trade Centre.
“Through resolute action, we have cut EC$ 60 million from the current Budget in the 2013 Budget”, Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell announced.
He indicated, that the recently appointed Waste Reduction Committee, will ensure that the methods are implemented. According to the plan, all Ministries except the Ministry of Health are to cut non-personal expenditure by at Least 20% and overseas travel also by 20%.
The cost cutting measures have also impacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose Budget is being reduced by 28%.
“Through a combination of more joint representation with the OECS, such as in Brussels, Private Sector support for London, and the use of non-resident Ambassadors and Honorary Consuls, the cost of our Dplomatic Service will be managed to reflect our fiscal constraints, but configured to deliver our Foreign Policy and Developmental Objectives”, the Finance Minister said.
He noted, that drastic reduction measures are also earmarked for electricity consumption and for Government’s Telecommunication Services.
Dr. Mitchell said, LED Light fixtures from the Peoples Republic of China, are being installed at the Financial Complex, Customs and Excise, the Ministry of Education and the Ministerial Complex. “Government expects to reduce its electricity consumption by at least 30% and save EC$9.6 million per year”, the Prime Minister pointed out.
He added, that Government will also cut expenditure on Mobile Telecommunications by at least 40%, with a new system being implemented. Prime Minister Mitchell also announced, that Government is also implementing a freeze on net hiring which will save an additional EC$8 million. The installation of an Electronic Tracking System (GPS) for Government vehicles, which is said to be badly abused by workers, is another of the measures.
Dr. Mitchell is confident, that much needed savings will be derived by the use of this technology, which is already being utilized by private entities.
“Given that Government owns the largest fleet of vehicles, such a system is fully justified and long overdue. It will result in millions of dollars in savings on fuel and maintenance”, Dr Mitchell remarked.
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