A People’s understanding of a government that has misunderstood the challenges facing TT
The latest monetary policy report of the Central Bank Of TT has revealed how misguided the approach of the PNM Government has been to dealing with the realities of an economy in recession. There is nothing to celebrate when you recognize that the construction and manufacturing sectors, the ones most likely to provide jobs and improve consumer spending are not picking up and are even suffering declines. The thrust of the government to engage in mega construction projects like the highway to Toco while important to open up the eastern area does not equate to more jobs in construction since these projects at this stage require mainly heavy equipment.
It is in the development of housing and minor infrastructural work like drains and roads and bridges as well as repairs of sporting facilities etc that the small and medium size contractors and their skilled and semi skilled workers will get work.
The agriculture sector needs to be resuscitated. Unfortunately the current Minister has not excited the sector. The government must understand the importance of food security especially with a dwindling ability to import. There is no reason why TT manufacturers cannot with the help of Caricom consolidate agricultural outputs for processing in TT. The old argument of scale of production must now be rejected in favor of food security and employment.
During recessionary conditions governments have special stimulus packages. The time for such a package is imminent. The reluctance of the private sector to invest is quite likely a symbol of their lack of confidence in the future and in the current government. Without an active private sector making investments will generate jobs as well as secure existing jobs the desired economic turnaround will not be facilitated.
The time is right for a Parliamentary debate on the state of the economy and the failure of government to deal with the increasing hardship and an uncertain future.