Several Caribbean governor generals and prime ministers have made the coveted invitation list to the much-talked about royal wedding this year.
The governor generals of St. Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Belize, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are all invited to the April 29 Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, London.
Also making the guest list are the Prime Ministers of The Bahamas, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, the Premier of Bermuda, along with The British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.
Barbadians are complaining about the high cost of living but Finance Minister Chris Sinckler said there is little that can be done to ease the squeeze at this time.
He said while government would like to take action, it had “little elbow room” to maneuver, given the fiscal position of the country.
As such, he can give no precise time when the government will be able to ease the day-to-day escalating costs Barbadians face.
The minister conceded that the government was earning more than it had projected from increasing the excise tax on gasoline, due to the price hikes on that commodity so far this year.
Sinckler explained that though government was earning more than the project from the excise, it was getting less than anticipated from other measures.
The Barbados government is facing a $60 million lawsuit over its award of the Bridgetown Pierhead Marina Project to SMI Infrastructure Solutions Inc.
Attorney for the British company Lagan Construction has written Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Barbados Tourism Investment Incorporated (BTII) and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler on the company’s behalf. Legan had entered a $482 million bid. The cost of the arrangement with SMI is $505 million.
Lagan contended that a letter dated Nov. 15, 2009 from the BTII chairman Dr. Jerry Thorne, the agency which has responsibility for the project “created a contractual relationship” to negotiate with the British company. Mottley indicated that the government subsequently revoked the BTII’s award of “preferred bidder’ status to Lagan on Nov. 20.
The United Nations’ rural development agency is to co-finance a $7.5 million project in Grenada designed to alleviate poverty in the Caribbean country, benefiting an estimated 12,000 residents of poor communities on the main island and the isle of Carriacou.
The U.N. International Fund for Agricultural Development will provide $3 million in loan to the six-year Market Access and Rural Enterprise Development Program to create jobs, improve market access and support rural micro-enterprise projects in 50 communities, according to an agreement signed in Rome between the fund and Grenada’s government.
The government will provide $2.2 million in co-financing with the Caribbean Development Bank contributing another $2.3 million.
Several Guyanese businessmen may be considering bidding contracts in the various sub-sectors of building industry to participate, along with other CARICOM firms, in the massive rebuilding exercise currently underway in Haiti following last year’s devastating earthquake.
Sources in the South American country say that representatives of 12 local firms comprising building contractors, architects, engineers, cleaning and sanitation recently traveled to Trinidad and Tobago to attend a meeting to discuss twining the skills and services available in the region to undertake major reconstruction work in the earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
Former Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson spearheaded a CARICOM initiative and raised $1 billion from various international agencies to assist in funding the participation of regional private sector firms in the rebuilding exercise currently underway in Haiti.
Jamaica police are reporting another multiple murder/suicide involving an ex-policeman.
A woman corporal, her son and the father of her child were shot dead by an ex-sergeant who then killed himself. The incident happened in Melrose Mews, Manchester.
The victims were identified as Corporal Bevon Hutchinson-Anderson of Melrose, Mews, Rohan Shaw, 45 of Mandeville and their 12-year-old son Keinon Shaw of Melrose Mews.
The 58-year-old former police officer Osbourne Whitton took early retirement about three years ago.
It is reported that WPC Hutchinson-Anderson previously had a relationship with the ex-sergeant.
The Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC) says a phased resumption of passenger train service in the country will start as early as next month.
JRC Chairman Barry Bonitto made the disclosure recently following a test run of the reconditioned train service between May Pen, Clarendon and Linstead, St. Catherine.
He said the rail service is expected to start along that run.
The test run led by Jamaican Transport Minister Mike Henry saw 200 government, private and public sector stakeholders making the more than 30-mile journey for a five-coach train.
It was the first run since the rail closed in l992.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar led a 40-member delegation, which included state officials and private businessmen to Brazil last week.
The five-day trip focused on investment opportunities in Trinidad and Tobago and the energy sector.
Trinidad and Tobago established diplomatic relations with Brazil after independence in 1962.
In her absence from the country, Finance Minister Winston Dookeran acted as prime minister.
Compiled by Azad Ali