Years ago, the majority of holiday gift-giving in T&T consisted of creative originals—music, art, food and drink.
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Give back to T&T now
With T&T facing a public debt of $93 billion, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday urged contractors, investors and business owners to give back to T&T by assisting with the reconstruction of Port-of-Spain General Hospital and the ANR Robinson Airport terminal in Tobago.
Delivering the feature address at the Edan K Point Lisas Business Park project launch in Couva, Rowley said many contractors and business owners became immensely wealthy because of the opportunities given to them by the State.
“I don’t know how wealthy you are. You know how much you own. During the period when things were good, a number of persons and entities - contractors, investors, businessmen - would have done extremely well and today are in control of significant resources which country desperately needs now,” Rowley said.
He said Government could no longer find money to do important projects and was looking towards the private sector for assistance. He revealed that Cabinet had taken a decision to provide Build, Own, Lease and Transfer (BOLT) opportunities to the private sector.
“The largest hospital block in the country has been condemned and this Government is required to replace that hospital block, 500 beds. We do not have the cash to hire a contractor. We have to find another way so we took a decision in Cabinet that we will Build, Own, Lease Transfer,” Rowley said.
“If you have the resources, here is an opportunity to come in and build the property, own it and lease it to the Government. The lease over time will cover the cost of your investment and give you profits and at the end of a period of time, the property returns to the State.”
He added that Tobago also has to build its tourism so reconstructing the airport terminal was also a necessity.
“We will go a similar way with the ANR Robinson Terminal building. We are talking about expanding that,” Rowley contended.
Saying government was struggling to pay its public debt as well as meet with expenditure, Rowley called on the private sector to spend some of its money towards building T&T.
He also lauded Edan K’s executive director Nyal Khan for building an industrial estate to encourage private sector opportunities.