It’s all in the Manifesto.
That was the statement made by Rural Development and Local Government Minister Franklin Khan in response to Opposition Senator Wade Mark's calls for the government to reveal what development projects it will be spending money on as it moves to raise its borrowing ceiling from $70 billion to $120 billion.
Speaking today during debate on the External Loans Act, Khan said government plans to utilise the increased borrowing capacity to honour outstanding liabilities left by the previous administration and to fund the developmental agendas of the People’s National Movement (PNM) administration.
He sought to dispel any notion made by the Opposition that there was no plan by saying the plans were already in the public domain as they were in the party’s election manifesto, now an official document.
Khan said that the administration plans to move forward with a number of projects that will help the country including completion of the controversial Point Fortin High Way project and the construction of a road from Valencia to Toco in addition to constructing a Toco Port which will offer a Ferry service to Tobago.
Consideration is being given, he said, to a bio-fuel plant which will effectively see the closure of the Beetham Dump, co-existing with the implementation of Biomass energy practices to convert waste into energy.
He repeated the party's campaign promises of a revival of the fishing industry in Moruga by building a modern fishing strip, and a new airport terminal building for Tobago to service growing needs as a wider part of tourism-boosting initiatives on the island.
However, Opposition Senator Khadijah Ameen warned the Government that it was sabotaging its own efforts by laying blame on the previous administration. She likened it to “a dog biting off its own tail,” saying the constant highlighting of "negatives" will only diminish investor confidence in the economy.
Khan quickly shot back that it was the People's Partnership's poor fiscal management that led the country to the economic environment it is experiencing saying it was not about spite on the part of the PNM but about accountability.