The New Today
Local News

Economy expected to expand by 3.6% in 2023

Prime Minister and Finance Minister Dickon Mitchell - made the announcement while delivering his maiden budget statement in Parliament

The ruling 5-month-old Dickon Mitchell-led Congress administration in St. George’s is “highly confident” that its “plans and programmes will continue to spur growth and the creation of sustainable jobs, empower our less fortunate citizens, and begin a process of real progress and development” among the Grenadian people.

That’s according to Prime Minister and Finance Minister Dickon Mitchell, who has announced economic growth in the amount of 6% this year, with projections of further growth by 3.6% in 2023 which underpins the “continued strong recovery in tourism and robust construction activities.”

The Grenadian leader made this disclosure as he unveiled the contents of the highly anticipated 2023 Budget in the Lower House of Parliament on Monday, under the theme: “Vision 2035: People-Centered Transformation, Laying the Foundation for Resilience, Empowerment and Growth,” following what has been described as “meaningful” engagements with citizens that have helped to shape the policies, projects, and programmes for the next two (2) years.

PM Dickon Mitchell told legislators that one of the priorities of the new Congress administration was restoring the Public Library in the Town of St. George into a “hub of knowledge, technology, and socialisation for our citizens” under the ‘Public Library Modernisation project.”

He said that this was high on the agenda to be undertaken in the coming year, with a commencement budget of “$800, 000.00, while $13.2 million has been allocated for school infrastructure.

The Prime Minister also spoke of plans to roll out several initiatives to “support our farmers and fisherfolk to grow their enterprise and increase local production…”

He said the Congress administration intends to implement a ‘food security enhancement project’ which is geared at “reducing our dependence on imported foods,” which is “estimated to cost $27 million to be implemented over 12 months.”

The NDC government has allocated “$3.4 million” for the introduction of a Creative Economy, inclusive of a ‘Culture and Creative Industry Fund,’ that will provide direct financing support to our creatives, a vital and strategic area, especially for our young people.”

PM Mitchell stated that “these allocations underscore our commitment as a government to prioritise these critical areas of development.”

Addressing the country’s skills gap and reimagining the Imani programme are also among the top areas highlighted in the 2023 Budget.

According to Finance Minister Dickon Mitchell, “the 2023 Budget is fully financed” and “Government operations before financing is forecasted to result in an overall surplus of $62.7 million.”

Additionally, he said that an analysis of Government financing in 2023 shows an “over-financing of $33.0 million” and that “one of the key sources of new external loan disbursements is a Budget support operation with the World Bank to the tune of US$30 million or EC$81 million, which will become available during the first half of 2023.”

The Grenadian leader also pointed out that the “Government is expected to generate a financing surplus of $96.2 million” and that there will be a 2023 Loan Authorisation Bill, 2022 taken before the House in which the Congress regime is seeking authorisation to “borrow $350, 000, 000. 00” from various sources.

Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell commented briefly to reporters on the 2023 budget after listening to the almost 3-hour-long delivery on Monday.

He cited “some serious mistakes” in the figures presented by the newly installed Finance Minister, stating that many of the statements made were “ill-informed and inaccurate.”

“I perceive that there were some serious mistakes given, and the numbers given because I have accessed the numbers,” said the Member of Parliament for St George North-west who is a Statistician by profession.

“When we dissect the numbers…I was sure that these numbers are not accurate in many areas,” explained Dr. Mitchell, who promised to provide comprehensive details to support his claims during the debate on the budget, which was expected to begin on Thursday.

“One thing people have to understand is the government has a document that says this is the approved estimates, and then at the end of the year you give what the actual estimates are – so, if you proceed to look at the approved and just give the numbers for the approved into your budget in effect what you are doing is giving less than what was spent in 2022, and he (PM Dickon Mitchell) did not try to differentiate this, and this is one of the areas we will spend some time on,” Dr. Mitchell said.

According to the new Grenadian leader, the 2023 Budget represents a return to the rules and targets of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, after a 3-year suspension in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This,” the highly confident Prime Minister said, “demonstrates our (the NDC) administration’s strong commitment to fiscal prudence.”

“And, we will endeavour to continue strengthening our fiscal rules framework,” PM Mitchell told Parliament, while announcing that his “Government has already sought technical assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group to support our efforts to address the current weaknesses in the framework to ensure alignment with our transformative agenda.”

If you are satisfied with the information provided by The New Today to our many readers, followers and supporters around the world, then you can show your appreciation by making a financial contribution to the effort of our team of dedicated workers.

Giving back is a way of saying thank you for our efforts

Support The New Today