Gov’t negotiates multimillion-dollar stimulus package
ST GEORGE’S (CMC):
The Grenada government says it has acquired a US$8.95-million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to use as a stimulus package for persons who have been marginalised by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has marginalised many persons. Those of us who have continued to receive a salary throughout the pandemic must understand that there are many who have been without an income for more than a year and they, too, have commitments and families that they need to take care of,” Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell told reporters.
Mitchell said that the funds, which will be disbursed through the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), has a variable interest rate of about 2.06 per cent and that the terms and conditions include a five-year grace period, with repayment over 20 years.
“While we do what we can to help those who are continuing to work but have difficulties, we have to spend a lot of time trying to help those who have nothing at all,” he said before announcing that government had secured a loan that would be used as a stimulus package for persons marginalised because of the pandemic.
Mitchell said that his administration has been trying to secure additional stimulus as it did at the start of the pandemic that has infected 161 people and killed one other since the first case was detected in March last year.
Mitchell said that the Ministry of Finance is working with the Ministry of Social Development and also “engaging some of our social partners in the whole question of the areas and persons that could be supported with that initiative that we are embarking on”.
A government statement later stated that the Ministry of Finance is working very closely with the CDB in finalising the policy, proposals, and format that will be used to implement the initiative.
Disbursements are expected to begin in August and the government said persons would be offered both grants and loans.
Apart from individuals, small businesses are also expected to benefit from the initiative.