St. George’s, June 30, 2012 – Scores of government workers queued up in long lines in front of automatic teller machines Friday afternoon after failing to receive their monthly salaries on the scheduled June 28 date on Thursday.
The late payment of salaries appears to be the latest sign of a cash flow problem for the government, which recently failed to meet wages for fortnightly workers employed in “debushing,’’ such as cutting branches overhanging roads and unblocking clogged drains.
A new round in the fortnightly “Debushing Program’’ was scheduled to begin Monday, July 2, but reports are that it was put on hold at the last minute. Sources say the reason is concern about the availability of cash to meet wage demands at the end of the two-week period.
Local journalists who attempted to call Finance Minister Nazim Burke at his office Friday were unsuccessful in reaching him.
It is believed that Burke was visiting St. Kitts for the 73rd Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.
The late-payment of wages and salaries could cause more grumbling among Grenadians, who have been critical of government’s approach at creating jobs and reducing unemployment.
The Finance Minister, however, has maintained that Grenada has done comparatively well in light of the world economic crisis, and that the country is on the road to economic recovery.
“In the present economic crisis that the world is facing, Grenada is not exempt from the consequences,” Burke told a Canadian journalist while visiting Toronto recently.
“Obviously, with the slowdown of the world economy, Grenada, as a small open island developing state, is suffering from the consequences of the slowdown,’’ added Burke, who is deputy leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress.
“We are not experiencing the level of buoyancy that will generate the type of jobs that people would like to see, so high unemployment is a natural outgrowth of that circumstance as it is in most parts of Europe, the United States and the Caribbean.”