Comrades, following upon Comrade Coard’s
contribution and presentation this morning I think it would be
me to try to add anything of particular substance, but what I do want
comrades is that it is our very honest, sincere and firm conviction
Budget and National Plan which was presented today is for us in Grenada
historymaking occasion; an occasion, therefore, that is worthy of
major reasons why history was made today reemphasised, and what I hope
therefore is to give you six brief reasons why today’s Budget and Plan
fact a historymaking presentation and a historymaking occasion.
THE PEOPLE’S EXTRAORDINARY INVOLVEMENT
The first reason, comrades, without any
doubt to its correct order
of priority was the tremendous and extraordinary involvement and
of our people in this budget, which justifies this budget being
as a People’s Budget, the first of its kind in the history of our
One can see this involvement in several
ways in recent times and
in a bid way at the National Conference on the Economy, when over 1,000
people in this very Dome formed themselves into 25 workshops, coming
the recognised mass organisations in our country — from the trade
workers, from the Productive Farmers Union, from the National Women’s
organisation, from the National Youth Organisation, from our
Armed Forces — all of the mass organisations came together in this Dome
a very long hard look at the report of the economy which was so
presented on that day by Comrade Coard.
Following on this National Conference and
going right through the
month of February 25, Workers’ Parish Councils and Zonal Councils in
of the island, involving thousands of our people, were held and on
occasions ordinary members of the individual communities around the
came out and struggled to come to grips with the report on the economy,
come to grips with difficult economic terms which, for them, they had
in the habit of trying to understand.
That, in itself, was history in the making.
And following on that, comrades, on
February 25th and
again on March 2nd, a conference on the economy
for all State
enterprises was held in this building, and at that conference the
accountants, senior managers and senior officers, leading technicians,
technocrats from 24 of our public enterprises and the leading
technocrats from the Ministry of Planning and Finance, the Budget
the Accountant General’s department all got together for those three
the entire Cabinet of our country.
On that occasion five workshops grouped
enterprises, and over that period of time all of the then existing data
statistics were reanalysed, reevaluated, subjected to microscopic
and at the end of the process an entirely new recurrent budget, capital
cash flow requirements, workplans and work schedules, work targets,
reorganised and rearranged.
Coming out of that exercise, therefore,
were the real flesh and
bones of the Budget which you heard presented this morning.
OUR SENIOR CITIZENS PLAYED THEIR PART
And, finally, comrades, on March 1st,
a few days ago,
there was another such conference again in this building — this time
senior citizens, for the elderly in our country, for the unattached,
who are not into the mass organisations, those who perhaps are not as
they would like to be.
These citizens also had the opportunity of
coming down here, of
hearing a report from the leadership of our country and thereafter
into workshops and themselves examining the Budget, examining the
report on the
economy and giving their own ideas for what needs to be done and for
been going wrong, so at the end of this entire process what we have
seen is all of the people having the opportunity over these past two
and a half
months of being engaged in very serious and intensive discussion around
The private sector through the Chamber of
Commerce, the Grenada
Hotels' Association and the Grenada Employers' Federation also met in
February with Comrade Coard and that too was a useful and very
productive day of
So, comrades, this is the first reason
that we say that history
was created today: the extent to which our people were involved, the
which their ideas and suggestions were examined, the extent to which
an opportunity before the ‘mystical’ budget day arrived to discuss in
what was likely to go into that Budget, and what the economy in 1982
was likely to be.
The second reason, comrades, is the
tremendous variety, range, quantity
and quality of ideas and suggestions which have come from the people
impact which these ideas have had on the final shaping of the Budget.
A large part of Comrade Coard’s
presentation this morning dealt
with many of the suggestions which came from the masses. Large sections
speech were devoted to this aspect.
WE NEED MORE SELFRELIANCE
We know therefore that the masses in
general, the ordinary people
of our country, the salt of our earth, have been saying that we need
selfreliance, we need to grow more, we need to cut back on our imports.
They have been saying that production must
be increased, that
there must be more cooperatives, that we must move into new creative
finding new crops and new varieties of crops, that more and more of our
engage in backyard gardening, that the Marketing and National Importing
must be expanded, that more import items must be brought under the
that agency so as to lower the cost of living further, that there must
greater supervision, monitoring, and control of Government vehicles,
measures which are passed into law must be collected, that tax evasion
be allowed, that we must wipe out waste and wipe out corruption, that
engage in more voluntary work, that in fact our people in the community
brigades should be trained, should learn how to construct roads and
walls and such like, so they can make an even bigger contribution to
economy on Sunday mornings, that we must supervise and monitor prices
and as people.
IDEAS ECHOED ACROSS THE LAND
Ideas like these, comrades, were echoed
and reechoed up and down
the length and breadth of our country.
What I want to focus on for a few seconds
is not the ideas which
came out of the worker’s parish councils, not the ideas which came out
zonal councils, because those ideas were the ones which were analysed
evaluated by Comrade Coard in his presentation.
What I want instead to focus on are the
ideas which came from our
senior citizens, from those citizens in our country who are unattached
not belong to the mass organisations, from those who came from what is
the middle classes, those who came here on March 1st.
In many cases the views of these people
were certainly staggering
to our party and our Government.
Many people would probably anticipate that
the ideas that would
come out from the senior citizens, from housewives, from people who
the middle classes might not be as progressive as the ideas which come
working class itself, from the working people around the country.
But what we have discovered in looking at
these ideas (and I want
o read out six of them for you that have been summarised from the
that these ideas are also very, very fundamental and historic ideas.
CUT IMPORTS BY PROCESSING LOCAL
The first one coming from suggestions
arising out of the senior
citizens conference on the economy says:
must be cut by processing locallygrown products;
nectars should be used to replace aerated drinks like Coke coming from
Now, I find that very interesting because
one of the continuing
myths in our country is that there are large pockets of people who are
to what is grown locally, who are not willing to eat what we grow and
what we eat and who want to engage in the luxury of continuing to have
varieties of imported products that amount to the same thing.
But this first proposal clearly does not
must be better marketing of our local products, our agro
products, and intensive promotional campaigns which can serve to reduce
example, salted fish must real all areas like St. David’s
A third one:
agro plant must use less expensive cartons.
would make products more competitive and reduce imports.
retail price must be stamped on all goods.
CONCERNED ABOUT QUALITY
Comrades, hear what these citizens are
saying, people who were
not concerned about flashiness, about how the product looked, but were
about the quality inside and were urging that therefore expensive
local drink should be served at national functions.
Now again I found that fascinating.
Another one coming from these senior
import bill can be cut by centralization of imports in a
State Trading Agency.
Now, again I found this really fascinating
because what this is
clearly calling for is the expansion of the Marketing and National
Board, the brining of more imported products under the umbrella of the
Marketing and National Importing Board, and this of course has certain
Another point that was made on that day:
tax on luxury goods, for example alcohol, tobacco,
cosmetics, etc., must be increased.
Now, again this was an interesting one
since many of the people
who were present on that day were themselves the wearers and users of
cosmetics, but nonetheless because of their recognition of the
taking serious measures this point was made.
must be a licence on radio and television sets.
Now I don’t have to tell you, sisters and
brothers, that the
television sets in our country up to this point in time are used, in
mainly by many people who would have been present for that particular
Yet that again did not inhibit these
people from brining out this
idea because they saw its value to the economy at this time.
GROWING POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS
Comrades, what his certainly tells us is
that the political
consciousness of our elderly, the political consciousness of our senior
citizens, the political consciousness of our housewives and our middle
has also grown beyond recognition over these past three years of the
What that also tells us, is that the
patriotism of our people
right across the country, cutting across age line and lines of class
risen tremendously over the past three years, and I think it is a point
more than worthy of note.
The other example I want to give under the
ideas of the people,
is the approach that has been taken by our sisters in the National
Here, of course, we are dealing now with a
highly developed and
political conscious and politically organised leadership, an
not only knows how to mobilise but also how to organise, and coming out
these sisters' discussions in the past several weeks they have decided,
the last few days, to rewrite an aspect of heir workplan and to spend a
time this year focusing in much greater detail on certain specific
the economy, aspects which have come out as a result of these
discussions and also as a result of internal discussions among the
women of the
I want to read now what the President of
the NWO, Comrade Phyllis
Coard, said at the International Women’s Day Rally on Sunday concerning
role of women in this Year of Economic Construction, the role that the
going to pursue in this Year of Economic Construction; firstly, expand
gardens to produce those items that the Marketing and National
can buy; secondly, step up the formation of cooperatives among the
women in our country; thirdly, produce more craft items for Grencraft
handicraft outlet) especially things that have a large local and export
fourthly, participate fully in grievance, disciplinary, production and
emulation committees at their workplaces; fifthly, grow
local, buy local eat local.
This slogan and this campaign will be
spearheaded by the NWO among
all women throughout 1982, and sixthly and finally: monitor, control
eliminate all waste and corruption and boost efficiency, especially on
Government projects and with regard to Government vehicles throughout
HUGE IMPACT IN A SHORT TIME
Comrades, I read these six points because
it shows the impact and
the effect in a very, very short period of time that this discussion on
economy has engendered among all our people.
It shows the tremendous extent to which
there has been an amazing
rise in economyconsciousness throughout the country.
It shows the extent to which, the whole
process of the economy
has begun to be demystified, has begun to no longer sound and look
but is now beginning to take on the appearance more and more very day
minute of being something that truly concerns the people, something
people can understand and do understand and more and more, something
people are consciously and subconsciously engaged in and involved in
Every time a family sits down to plan a
household budget, people are
beginning to realise more and more that the planning of a household
planning for survival, the planning for achieving minimum saving, the
for ensuring that there can be repairs to the house, there can be
and uniforms for the children, the planning to ensure that there can be
put aside to buy food, the planning which an ordinary family must do
single day, week, and month every year — is much the same process
THE BUDGET IS NO MORE A MYSTERY
What these discussions have done,
comrades, is to demystify this
whole process of the Budget, is to make it simpler, to make it more
to get the people to understand in a concrete way that the Budget is
them, that the economy is really about what they get every day and what
cannot get at this time and what perhaps they can get in the future;
Budget and the economy is really about the national cake and whether
will shrink or stay the same of expand and if it expands who is going
the greater share of that expansion.
Our people now have a much deeper and
clearer insight into this
whole budget business and that too, comrades, we feel is a
important development in our country.
The third reason we are saying that this
Budget today was a
historymaking one is the deepgoing involvement of technocrats,
bureaucrats in the presentation of this Budget.
In the organisation of the Budget
division, the other people
involved in the Ministry of Finance, all managers, all technocrats, all
senior bureaucrats, all heads of departments have had to come together
period of several months and to begin to discuss the Budget for their
particular department, ministry or enterprise.
And in the process of discussing the
Budget they have had to
start off from a zero base. They have had to start off assuming that
single cent would be given to the particular ministry, department or
enterprise, that is was not going to be a simple case of saying,
year I got five million dollars, we anticipate then percent
for inflation, therefore this year give me five and a half million
Every single cent to be spent had to be
justified and in the
process of justifying what has to be spent, they could not just rely on
own genius and ideas from above, but they had to involve all of the
So the discussions centred around calling
meetings of the workers
in the different enterprises, workplaces, departments and ministries
raising with the workers themselves the questions of how savings could
effected, how efficiencies could be introduced, how waste and
be eliminated, looking at the possibilities of trying to ensure that
money the department, ministry of enterprise could achieve the same or
BRINGING ECONOMICS TO THE MASSES
That was the say in which this Budget was
organised within the
ministries, departments and enterprises and that process took several
discussions in the enterprise and ministry itself, and thereafter to
process of bringing the Budget and economy to the people through the
What we found happening for the first time
again in the history
of our country is that the technocrats, the bureaucrats, the heads of
departments, the managers were the ones who themselves had to spread
the country and to and sit among the masses and lead and guide the
the discussions of the economy.
That was a fundamentally important
political development for our
people because we must never forget that the history of colonialism in
country has taught us to compartmentalize, has taught us to create
divisions of intellectuals on a very high plane, of managers and senior
bureaucrats and technicians following thereafter, and then come the
Our culture and our education historically
has taught us to
separate the intellectuals from the majority of the ordinary people in
country, and this has led to the process of holding back development
political consciousness of the ordinary workers who found themselves
from scholarship, from basic information, from facts.
Likewise this has had the effect of
retarding the growth and
political development of the intellectuals themselves, who continued to
themselves as existing in an ivory tower, separate and apart from the
only there to come out and stick some paper behind the Minister, only
advise the Minister and to treat the masses with the maximum amount of
contempt, disdain and reproach that they could find.
What this whole development has done,
therefore, by having the
managers themselves, the senior technicians, technocrats and heads of
coming down to the Dome and sitting down with the people in the mass
organisations, with the senior citizens in our country, and even more
fundamentally having these managers and technicians and accountants and
of departments going out into the villages night after night for three
sit among the masses, hear their view, to help teach them difficult and
complicated terms like Balance of Payments, and Social Wage and Gross
Product and such like; having these intellectuals leave the ivory tower
descend among humanity has had an effect of greatly lifting the quality
intellectuals in Grenada today.
A NEW KIND OF INTELLECTUAL IN GRENADA
So comrades, it has been a twoway process.
Our people have benefitted from the
expertise, from the training,
from the ideas, from the guidance of our intellectuals, but even more
fundamentally our intellectuals and managers and technocrats have
from having grounded with the people and having leant from them.
Already in these short three years we have
seen emerge in Grenada
a new kind of intellectual, a new kind of technocrat, a new kind of
bureaucrat, a new kind of manager.
We have been emerge a new intellectual in
our country who has
long since forgotten about looking at the clock, who does not even know
is eight o’clock in the morning or eight o’clock at night.
Some of these comrades have been going
around the clock, have
been pushing themselves and driving themselves.
We ourselves wonder sometimes at the
extent of the pressure and
the peace that these comrades have had to endure; comrades who have
Grenada from overseas because of recognising the promise of the
because of wanting to make for the first time a serious contribution to
building their country; comrades who have come from other parts of the
and from other parts of North America and Europe; comrades who have
come to our
country as internationalist workers and have been giving of their
these comrades are the unsung heroes behind the Budget presentation
have had today and we should recognise and emulate these comrades.
ONE PARTICULARLY OUTSTANDING COMRADE
But, I also want to say that it would not
have been possible,
certainly not in the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Trade to have
incredible amount of work, to have had these comrades come up with
tremendous amounts of energy, to have had them display all of the
and initiative that they have had; none of that would have been
they did not have a really first class, a really extraordinary leader,
comrade there to guide them at all times, to help them with their
at all times, to help ensure that they are staying within the broad
of the policies and guidelines and programmes elaborated by our party
government, a comrade there to ensure that when they were about to
that he could himself help to take up the slick because nothing that
engaged in doing was strange to him.
He, himself, was the greatest worker of
all of them, a comrade
who sleeps regularly two or three hours a night, and for that reason a
us in the Party and Government try to put little handcuffs on him to
him without success, because of his total obsession with the economy,
country, with building this country as rapidly as possible; and
again I ask you to recognise the tremendous, outstanding work of
Bernard Coard, our Minister of Finance.
FOR THE FIRST TIME, A NATIONAL PLAN
And the fourth reason, comrades, that this
Budget is a historymaking
budget is because for the first time in the history of our country a
plan has been presented.
Many of the details of that national plan
were not in fact
presented this morning, partly because that information is yet to be
but it will become available in the next few days.
The main outlines and the broad framework
of that plan were, in
fact, elaborated by Comrade Board, and as we see this first national
plan is a
small but important beginning along the road towards the planning of
of our country.
In this plan there will be three major
components: firstly, we
would be trying through the national plan to assess the labour force in
country, to examine the salaries and wages that that work force
receives and to
try to begin assessing the productivity of all workers in our country
individually and collectively at their separate workplaces and
through assessing the labour force we can determine the numbers, the
that they have, those who are unemployed, what they are willing to do
and what they
can do, those who are presently at work, how much they are in fact
now, and how much more they can produce, what are the wages, and the
of these workers.
By making this assessment, we will get a
clearer ideas as to how
we must deploy in the future our very limited and scarce manpower
We would get a better idea in the future
as to which areas we
must concentrate on when we are sending comrades abroad for
for training in middlelevel skills because we would have for the first
the statistical information that tells us where we are strongest, where
weakest, and what are the areas that we must therefore give the
and concentration to.
MEASURING PRODUCTIVITY OF WORKERS
That is one aspect of the planning process
which we are engaging
in this year.
We hope to be able to measure the
productivity of all of the
workers in our country.
We hope to be able to measure the
productivity of all of the
enterprises, particularly public enterprises in our country.
This year we hope as a result to be able
to set targets for each enterprise,
and in fact this has already been done for the 24 public enterprises,
and as a
result of these projections we are hoping for an overall growth rate of
percent in the economy during 1982.
A second aspect is the question of
investment. Of course, all
countries around the world must rely on investment to continue to go
to continue to expand the economy, and what we are trying to do this
year is to
ensure that all of the information about investments which are planned
of the different individual enterprises, ministries, and departments
collated, centralized and rationalized, and then we take a hard
decision on which of these investment we can engage in this year.
We take a hard decision based on the fact
that capital resources
are scarce, that managerial expertise is scarce, that equipment and
are also scarce.
Therefore, it is not simply a question of
having a prefeasibility
and a feasibility study and if as a result of that the investment is
say, ‘go ahead.’
It has to go a step further. We still then
have to sit down and rationalize,
based on the existing amount of scarce resources we have in the
ones nonetheless will be most productive in 1982 and beyond.
LEARNING FROM OUR PAST MISTAKES
Now, this question of making that analysis
is also fundamental
because it ensures that the mistakes of the past are no longer made,
because somebody one night comes up with a brilliant idea which, in
produce a surplus for the country, that the idea is automatically
and is not linked into an overall global perspective and is therefore
integrated into a true national plan.
That mistake we can no longer afford to
make because the size of
our economy is so small that a mistake of even $100,000 is a huge
The amount of land is so limited that
making the wrong choice as
to where to put an electrical generator plant, or where to install a
factory, or where to move into the area of livestock or any of a
different questions like that of an economic character can prove to be
The third aspect will deal with the
question of technical and
material supplies which the country needs: again, getting every
every ministry, getting every department o have a very hard look and to
with definite concrete answers as to exactly what they are hoping to
buy in the
area of material supplies in 1982.
And once we get an overall picture that
all of the ministries,
and departments and enterprises together are going to need ‘x’ number
and ‘y’ number of tractors and ‘z’ number of irrigation pumps, that
them they are going to need ‘a’ number of typewriters, and ‘b’ amount
stationery, in other words, all of the things which are bought on a
basis in the part by each ministry and department separately will be
together as one collective whole, so we can then look for the cheapest
of buying the items in bulk, thus saving a tremendous amount of money
economy as small as ours.
OUR WORKERS MUST MONITOR THE BUDGET
The fifth reason, comrades, is that this
Budget will be the first
Budget in the history of our country to be monitored in a scientific
ongoing way by mechanisms of control from the working people.
That is a major step forward for us.
The evidence of this is the production
committees that will be
established in each workplace this year within the public sector, and
expect the trade unions to struggle to ensure that his also happens in
These production committees will help to
ensure that production
is raised, help to ensure that the workers discuss the problems of the
workplace, analyse why it is that things are not moving as well as they
These production committees will ensure
that realistic and
achievable production targets are set which workers them aim towards
That is going to be a fundamental new
mechanism of the working
Allies to that there will be the
discipline and grievance
committees which will look at problems of workers and try to solve
problems; committees which will look at the question of worker
indiscipline and try to solve those problems; committees which will
the workers in fact are making the maximum contribution that they can
production and to increasing their individual and collective
That is also going to be a fundamental
mechanism of the working
EMULATION HOLDS THE KEY TO HIGHER
A third such mechanism: the emulation
committees, because we
believe very genuinely that emulation holds the key to increasing
and productivity in the economy this year.
We believe that if the emulation
programme, the programme of
setting targets, of rewarding the recognising and saluting those who do
best in reaching the target set, the programme of ensuring that at each
workplace there is a system of friendly competition, and that more and
training possibilities are organised for each worker; we believe that
component parts of the emulation system are in face set up this year
production is going to rise, and rise dramatically.
Yesterday’s first National Emulation
Ceremony only helped to
reinforce, confirm and consolidate our view that emulation foes have
potential, because the nearly 1,000 workers who gathered in that spot
witness 78 of their number receive emulation awards, were obviously
very, very enthused,
were obviously very happy to see their own ordinary fellow workers
recognised, receiving a certificate, receiving a small cash gift,
ordinary fellow workers recognised and praised for the first time in
lives, and therefore seeing that for the first time in the history of
workers as the producers and creators of our wealth were at last
honoured place that was always theirs.
DEVELOPING AN ECONOMYCONSCIOUS PEOPLE
Outside of these mechanisms, we are
confident that the trade
unions themselves will ensure that the necessary mechanisms mentioned
are implemented, and established.
We feel confident that given the new kind
of trade union
leadership in our country, that these trade unions will also make sure
a matter of the internal democratisation and organisation of their
trade unions that they will create their own internal structures to
their workers become more and more economyconscious every single day.
Beyond that the National Women’s
Organisation, the National Youth
Organisation, too are going to be involved in helping to monitor the
in helping to police and supervise prices, in helping to ensure that
drivers in the Government Service who continue to abuse State property,
property by brining vehicles home without permission, by utilising gas
private purposes, etc. — we are confident that our mass organisations
year help to manners vehicle drivers of that type.
There will also be this year, comrades,
implementation of a
series of Cabinet directives put together in one Cabinet Conclusion of
25th (same day as the Suriname Revolution) which
has been circulated
to the public enterprises and to ministries and departments of the
And what these Cabinet directives spread
over seven typed pages
seek to do is to ensure that in the Year of Economic Construction all
senior technocrats, and senior bureaucrats and heads of departments
seriously our attempts at lifting production in our country.
CABINET WILL CLOSELY MONITOR THE
The Cabinet’s conclusion has three parts:
the first deals with
the question of accounting procedures and control procedures and
all managers and heads of departments from now on will have to comply
setting up auditing and accounting mechanisms in the particular
department that they are responsible for.
It will also ensure that Cabinet receives
a monthly report as to
what is happening in the enterprise and a quarterly audited statement
is happening with the finances in the enterprise, of ensuring that
of accounts are kept, of ensuring that at the drop of a hat they will
to give full and maximum disclosure of what is happening financially
particular enterprise that they have responsibility for.
The second thing that this Cabinet
Conclusion seeks to do is to
ensure that managers and heads of departments and senior people
to introduce and bring in a full way worker participation at the
help to institutionalize economic democracy in exactly the same way as
already institutionalized political democracy.
MONTHLY WORKPLACE MEETINGS
The directives dealing with worker
participation will ensure that
in every department, ministry and enterprise monthly meetings are in
with the workers and that at these monthly meetings a preset agenda is
carefully followed, that that agenda will include discussion of
problems of the
workers, discussions of the target which was agreed upon and set by the
particular enterprise and the extent to which they have achieved
success in reaching
that target, and where the target has not been reached, in discussing
was not reached and in ensuring in the following months that the
catches up and the target is in fact reached.
That preset agenda will include
discussions around the
production committee, around productivity, around emulation.
It will ensure that the books of accounts
of the particular enterprise
are thrown open for the examination of all the workers so the workers
stage, every single month know how much is being spent, know where the
has gone, know why the money went where it went, know how much money is
the particular enterprise and know what prospect they have of reaching
production targets and therefore what prospects they have of sharing in
at the end of the year.
The managers and the accountants are going
to have to get
involved in this exercise.
The other mechanisms, comrades, ensure
that the work of the last
six weeks where we have held all these different conferences on the
where we have brought the people together to discuss the Budget and the
in general, will be continued this year.
Over the next nine months we expect to
pull together again two
separate conferences for the mass organisations and we intend once
through the zonal councils and the workers' parish council structures
the economy back out among the people for further discussion, for an
of where we have reached in the targets we have set, for criticism and
for ideas from the masses on how well the Budget is going at that point
So there will be more discussions of that
type, more conferences,
more zonal councils on the economy ensuring that before this year is
at least two more occasions, the people themselves will have a future
opportunity of saying where things reached, where things have begun to
wrong, what we can do to plug the gaps, how we can ensure that the
targets that we have set are nonetheless maintained.
Comrades, that is a fifth reason.
EVERY ENTERPRISE MUST FEND FOR ITSELF
The sixth and final reason: this Budget
seeks for the first time
to separate and to compartmentalize public enterprise from Central
ministries and departments, thus aiming to make every single tub, every
enterprise sit on its own bottom.
What we are trying to do this year is to
stop the practice of
What we are trying to do this year is to
stop the Central
Government State Budget being spent in all kinds of surreptitious and
delicately hidden ways on public utilities and public enterprises
We are moving to a system (and this is not
this Budget), where the public enterprises' statements of recurrent
are separately listed and the Central Government in turn also has its
separate listings for what it plans to spend by way of recurrent, and
what it plans
to spend by way of capital.
What we hope this will do is that for
those enterprises, for
example, that used to rely on individual ministries to bail them out
to time through paying the salaried of their workers in their
enterprise — that
practice will stop that those enterprises which move into a government
and never put aside any money for depreciation, never put aside any
rent or the repayment of the mortgage on the building and then at the
the year try artificially to disclose a profit — that too we hope to
Now, they are going to have to put down on
their budget all the
things that anyone running a business in the private sector will have
down: how much they’re spending on wages, how much on the telephone
much on the electricity bill, how much for depreciation, how much for
much for supplies every month, what is the situation with the cash flow
We feel that has become necessary because
very often hidden costs
were being absorbed by the Central Government, and therefore it was not
possible to accurately and scientifically measure what the real
with the particular public enterprise.
CUTTING THE NAVEL STRING
This arrangement now we believe is going
to make a difference, is
going to make the managers of public enterprises cut the umbilical
the navel strong with the Government, stop seeing the Government as
being a big
bottomless pit filled with money stop seeing Comrade Coard as being a
who can always pullout a five million, but instead begin to deal with
realities of making sure that their own books balance and actively and
consciously striving to make a surplus, through increasing production,
can ensure that the benefits to the people will continue to increase.
So comrades, these were the brief points I
wished to make and
perhaps I should end, since they were not so brief after all!
Let me end, therefore, by saying that the
final reason the Budget
is significant, obviously, is that it comes within the week of our
It comes during a week when we are leading
up to another historic
celebration of our People’s Revolution, another anniversary and that
obviously must be noted particularly as all the signs and indications
this year’s March 13th celebrations, this year’s
National Rally will
truly be the biggest and the best of them all.
When we think of this Budget, comrades,
and when we think of it
as having been a historymaking budget, perhaps we can just think of
— people, plan, professionalism — that is what this Budget has been all
the people, about their involvement, about their ideas, about their
contribution, about the fact that this year we are having a national
the first time, about the fact that this year we are moving to a more
professional approach to running the economy, and to making sure that
enterprises account and look to balance their books, look to make
to making sure that more and more people take seriously this business
management and of feasibility studies and of looking for markets.
A TOUCHING THOUGHT
That is what this Budget has been all
about and I want to end by
reading for you a small quotation.
It came from someone who is a good friend
of the Grenada
Revolution, a well known Caribbean intellectual and author.
I wouldn’t call his name because I don’t
know how he’d react to
my reading this part of this letter in public without his permission,
me just read what he says at the end of this note:
Grenada Revolution is a continuing reminder to the entire
region, that our material weakness must never deprive us of the world’s
and this respect begins with our capacity to respect ourselves.
supreme achievement of the Grenada Revolution so far is
that it has given to thousands of Grenadians of more than one
dignity that they had never known before and no material advancement
human value whosoever without this basic ingredient of the people’s
live the Revolution.
Comrades, I was so touched by these words
coming from this
outstanding Caribbean intellectual that I thought I would share them
this morning, because many of the sentiments expressed there are in
relevant to the exercise we have gone through today.
I think with these words we can close by
pledging that we will
work towards the materialisation of this respect for ourselves and of
ourselves, that we would work towards giving our people the full
dignity due to
them as human beings, that we would work towards ensuring the success
Year of Economic Construction, that we would work towards enduring the
fulfillment of all the targets set by this Budget and National Plan,
would work towards ensuring that all of us, through working harder and
producing more, will in fact built Grenada.
Long live the Grenada Revolution!
Long live the workers of Free Grenada!
Long live the farmers of Free Grenada!
Long live the youth and women of Free
Long live the senior citizens of Free
Long live the people of Free Grenada!
Long live the Grenada Revolution!
Long live the Year of Economic
Forward Ever, forward ever, forward ever?!