Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 2nd 2015 Contents SBG 4 COVER STORY
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt AUGUST 02 • 2015
In 2010, the People s Partnership did
not promise to change "everything."
Rather, it promised to initiate a period
of "change and transformation,"
according to Planning Minister Dr
Tewarie made the comment when asked
about Government s boast of achieving 90
per cent of its manifesto promises.
He said Government had identified nine
policy shifts and that its measurement of
achievement was done up to the first quarter
of 2014 based on those shifts. (These shifts
can be found in A Review of Government s
2010 Official Policy Framework dated March
He said the 90 per cent mark was measured
on the basis of projects started, projects
achieved, and those on their way to being
"Those achievements are not based on phys-
ical projects alone but manifesto commitments,
projects, policy commitments, and commit-
ments of action to be initiated for new policies,"
Tewarie told the Sunday BG.
In 2010, the PP manifesto listed approxi-
mately 400 promises to the population and
now, having served a full term in office, Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has boasted
that her Government was able to deliver on
90 per cent of those promises.
But after five years and an expenditure allo-
cation of approximately $288 billion, there are
still some burning questions.
Has the Government been accountable to
the population? Has Government really deliv-
ered 90 per cent of its manifesto promises?
The PM, in the 76-page Prosperity for All
2010 manifesto, said her immediate goal was
"to introduce greater transparency and
accountability in government and to ensure
that our oil and gas wealth is truly used for
the development of our nation and our peo-
However, given the numerous allegations
against members of the PP administration
over the last five years, there are some who
would argue that this is one manifesto promise
Persad-Bissessar failed to deliver.
At a Monday Night Forum at the Gasparillo
Secondary School last month, the PM told
the crowd, "Through hard work and very dif-
ficult times my Government turned us around.
"We delivered stability and progress. I want
you to look carefully at the country you live
in today. We have the proud record that we
have kept 90 per cent of our manifesto prom-
The manifesto was built on seven pillars---
people-centred development, poverty eradi-
cation and social justice, national and personal
security, information and communication tech-
nologies, a more diversified and knowledge-
intensive economy, good governance, and for-
It also outlined 32 promises as part of a
120-day immediate action plan, many of which
Some of those promises were:
• Every child going on to secondary school
from the SEA will be provided with a laptop
to begin their secondary school education;
• We will begin addressing the issue of
securing and expanding GATE;
• We will rescind the property tax;
• We will establish a working committee
to review all programmes targeted at poverty
alleviation and social support to make rec-
a. Strengthen synergy, reach and impact
through rationalisation and integration
b. Help households to step up to prosperity
and to reduce the number of people classified
as poor by 2 per cent each year.
• We will begin an aggressive programme,
to fix all leaks in WASA s pipelines, and establish
an emergency response unit for monitoring
system dysfunction, unplanned disruptions
and crisis management.
• We will co-ordinate integrated action on
water resources management, drainage, irri-
gation, flooding, water capture, conservation,
sustainable food production and food security
through synergistic deployment of human
resources and equipment under State control
in collaboration with private contractors.
Indeed, Government has constructed 98
schools in a five-year period, the Children s
Hospital, several police stations and delivered
on its laptop promise. But what about its
promise to make T&T a food-secure nation?
Government promised to implement systems
to lessen flooding in flood-prone and vulnerable
areas. To date, the flooding remains a con-
Government continues to grapple with
crime. It promised to "take a multi-pronged
approach that will address the political, eco-
nomic, social, technological and managerial
dimensions required to reinstate safety and
The manifesto stated that punitive sanctions
alone will not solve the crime problem and
that the first step the Government would take
involved addressing the issue of white-collar
crime and corruption.
Serious crimes have decreased but murders
continue to escalate. The Overseas Security
Advisory Council of The US Department of
State in its 2014 report on this country stated
crime was rated at a critical level and was the
principal threat to visitors.
The report stated: "While overall criminal
activity decreased in 2013, according to the
Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS)
crime statistics, the murder rate increased.
Violent crime is a concern for local security
services and the general population."
It added that there were 405 murders in
2013, 379 murders in 2012, 354 murders in
2011, 480 murders in 2010, 508 murders in
2009, and 550 (record high) murders in 2008
in a population of approximately 1.3 million
Government advertises its performance of
water delivery, but many still have no access
to pipe-borne water, electricity or paved roads.
A new Forensics Centre was to be built in
Carlsen Field, that has not been delivered. The
Sunday BG was informed that the Request for
Proposal for that centre was sent out.
Still to be completed are the Motor Vehicle
Authority in Caroni, the National Oncology
Centre in Mt Hope, the Pan Trinbago head-
quarters in Trincity, an Education City in St
Augustine, and the National Aquatic Centre
in Couva which is to be named after George
The manifesto listed the establishment of
a Patient s Authority but are citizens seen
within one hour of their arrival at any public
health institution, including emergency rooms?
Do patients have access to written information
for all recommended investigations, treatment
options, and post-treatment care?
Government has spent close to $45 billion
in developmental and infrastructural projects
Developmental projects are allocated funding
under the Public Sector Investment Programme
(PSIP), according to Tewarie.
He said they had to do with projects that
are located in a community or aligned to var-
ious ministries and are provided with support
for community or national development.
His example was the Ministry of Local Gov-
ernment, under which local markets fall. Also,
he named the East Port-of-Spain Development
Company whose mandate is to develop and
redevelop a zone in East Port-of-Spain, bound-
ed by Charlotte Street, Lady Young Road and
the Eastern Main Road and including Morvant,
Never Dirty and Caledonia, to improve the
economic, social and physical environment of
Tewarie said some of the developmental
projects had to do with Inter-American Devel-
opment Bank loans and were specific projects
with a specific life.
Infrastructural projects included the Point
Fortin highway, construction of schools and
projects under the Urban Development Cor-
poration of T&T Ltd. Those had specific allo-
cations in the annual national budget.
Information received from the Ministry of
Finance showed that $16,766,814,206 was
spent on developmental projects for the fiscal
years 2010-2014. The budgetary allocation for
2015 is $3,843,350,000.
The ministry said developmental projects
are those that are ongoing within several min-
istries and all funding came from the Con-
Infrastructural projects, those which have
a completion date of usually one to three year,
have been financed by the Infrastructure Devel-
Figures show that for the fiscal years 2010-
2014, $19,898,668,440 has been spent on
The budgetary allocation for 2015 is
National Budget figures from fiscal years
2010-2014 totalled $288B.
Interviewed in Chaguanas, an unidentified
San Juan woman said security was her concern.
For B Ramdhanie, of Chaguanas, it was the
economy and Abdul Gaffur of Londgenville,
it was labour and transportation.
Gaffur said there needed to be better trans-
portation hubs in the Chaguanas area.
For Roodal Ramlal of Caparo, "Everything
is Ok. So far, so good," he said.
Agreeing with him was Rupert Teelucksingh,
a 67-year old taxi-driver who said, "No trouble.
Everything good." Anthony Felix, a labourer,
from Tamana, said he was "hustling." His
main concern was infrastructure.
He said, "There are no lights in the recreation
ground and no activities for the youth.
Despite burning tyres and protest for better
conditions in the area, Felix said the roads
were poor and that people needed to "open
up their eyes now."
Jamaican Carleen Smith, who has been living
in this country for almost 18 months, said she
was troubled by violent crimes.
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
Assessing the 2010 manifesto promises...
Has the PP delivered?
Prime Minister, Kamla
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