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St David to become Grenada’s second tourism capital

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas will be built near the pristine La Sagesse Beach
  • La Sagesse will include two luxury 5-star hotels
  • St David will become the second tourism capital in Grenada

Grenada’s Citizenship By Investment (CIB) programme is likened to that of United Arab Emirates CIB programme for its expediency in completing the transaction that will see the construction of two 5-star hotels in the next 4 years, starting with the Six Senses La Sagesse resort project.

The first of two Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is slated to open in 2022, part of the latest luxury hospitality projects in the Caribbean by Range Developments, under Citizenship by Investment.

Acquired by the InterContinental Hotels Group in February, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas will be built near the pristine La Sagesse Beach overlooking two beaches and a lake which is considered perfect, considering that the hotel is big on the promotion of health and wellness.

According to the company, La Sagesse will include two luxury 5-star hotels, along with oceanfront villas, spas, retail and water sports facilities that will see the parish of St David becoming the second tourism capital in Grenada.

Managing Director and Member of the Board of Range Developments, Mohammed Asaria, commended the Government of Grenada for effectively operating an efficient CIB programme.

“Notwithstanding Christmas and the Easter Holiday, it took us only 4 months to conclude the transaction. Living in the UAE, which is known for its pro-business approach, the expediency at which we were able to execute our transaction was impressive. Prime Minister you run an efficient and effective government,” said Asaria.

Government ministers, officials from Range Developments and specially invited guests, marked the coming of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas to Grenada, at the project initiation ceremony held at SilverSands Grenada on Friday, 23 August.

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas have been voted the world’s best hotel brand by Travel + Leisure for two consecutive years. All 100 rooms at the Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada will enjoy sea views with private plunge pools. The architecture is designed to complement and blend into the environment, ensuring total relaxation and tranquillity.

Range Developments also designed the Park Hyatt St Kitts, which opened on November 2017, and is currently developing the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski in Dominica, slated to open in November. From its inception in 1995, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas have made sustainability and environmental protection mandatory within their operations and are considered industry leaders in developing sustainable resorts.

“Minister, you would be glad to know that all their resorts are LED certified. On site there is a compulsion that there must be drinking water bottling plants, and a farm-to-table philosophy is integrated into the design concept of the hotel. With Six Senses we will create the exceptional in St David and I can only recall the passion when I first met Six Senses, about the way they recounted the guest experience and whether it is selecting eggs from the farm on your way top breakfast, some of the unique experiences incorporated into the spa or the way they encourage guests to engage in community tourism. It is this passion for guest satisfaction and creating memories that we believe Six Senses is the right brand for the island of Grenada,” Asaria explained.

As part of its corporate social responsibility, the luxury resort will set aside 1% of their revenue towards funding community service projects with its staff at the helm as well as to providing hospitality scholarships. Range’s corporate social responsibility programme is said to be centred around children, families, entrepreneurs across communities in which they operate and in the next few weeks, they are expected to distribute school bags and wheelchairs as the first initiative on the island.

Project initiation ceremony to mark the coming of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas to Grenada

The hotel developers are also boasting of creating between 500-600 local jobs through the construction phase of the project and, once operational, there is also the promise of skills transfer and entrepreneurial opportunity.

Asaria said the hotel will also ensure that local producers are engaged to supply the needs of the hotel. “Reliance on import must be a fading strategy and as soon as six sense is operations are starting up, we will connect with all categories of producers so the local supply chain can be as effective as possible.”

Preconstruction studies, environmental assessment, and soil tests are complete with the design of the building currently advancing, with part of the site cleared in preparation for site mobilisation to commence in the next 60 days. Asaria said announcements will be made with regards to the establishment of the second hotel project in coming months, as proposals are currently being finalised.

Minister for Economic Development, Trade, Planning, and Cooperatives and MP for St David, Oliver Joseph was particularly pleased to see that the parish of St David stands to benefit greatly from this project. “I am pleased to say that we have found the 12 acres of land for the next hotel that is going to be built in St David. So, within the next four years, we will have two 5-star hotels. We have, as you know one of the best Citizenship By Investment programmes and Grenada is the ideal location for Investment,” said Minister Joseph.

Range’s flagship project, Park Hyatt St. Kitts was voted the best new hotel in the Caribbean by CNN. Their second project, the Cabrits Resort and Spa Kempinski, Dominica has been named “the most exciting new property set to open in 2019” by the Caribbean Journal.

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Caribbean & World

International Anti-Corruption Day | United Nations

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Anti-Corruption Campaign-UNDP Sudan Organized a Drawings Contest with the Faculty of Fine and Applied Art. Photo: UNDP South Sudan

On this International Day, I urge people everywhere to continue to work on innovative solutions to win the battle against corruption and to ensure that precious resources serve the peoples of the world.

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

United against corruption for development, peace and security

Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 per cent of the global GDP. In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune.

To mark International Anti-Corruption Day, we will leverage the recognition of the multi-year “United Against Corruption” theme and will continue to support the 2030 Agenda, which forms the backbone of the campaign. In addition, the campaign will also have a youth component.

 

Corruption – An impediment to the Sustainable Development Goals: describes how corruption negatively affects us all.

Corruption – #YouthForJustice leading the change: describes the importance of empowering and mobilizing youth to fight for a corruption-free world.

United Against Corruption – Take action – Lead the change – Be the change: stresses that it is not enough to just know about corruption but that we need to take action, hold leaders accountable and become integer leaders ourselves.

 

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Government refutes allegations of closure

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The Ministry of Finance has observed a statement purported to be issued by Andall & Associates Inc. that suggests a decision taken by its management to close operation is in some way directly related to actions taken by the government.

It must be noted that the decision taken by the management of any entity to close its operations is purely managerial in nature and should not be attributed to government.

The Government of Grenada wishes to categorically deny this claim and empathises with the many workers that may be affected as a result. It is important to establish that tax compliance is the responsibility of all taxpayers and that government has no authority in law to waive taxes.

Historically, government has made special arrangements and has worked with clients/taxpayers to allow them the opportunity to settle their legal obligations to the state via payment arrangement and other means. We, therefore, use this opportunity to congratulate the taxpayers who have worked and continue to work with the government to meet their responsibility.

However, there are instances where clients/taxpayers blatantly refuse to settle their tax obligations, some of which are collected from the ordinary Grenadians who purchase items and pay taxes like that of the VAT, that must then be remitted to the Inland Revenue Division, Ministry of Finance. As a responsible government, the collection of monies from the working class and the failure to pay over the same to the government while business owners enrich themselves cannot and will not go unchecked.

The government, therefore, encourages all taxpayers to file and pay their respective taxes to the Inland Revenue Division and further discourages any attempts to engage in any fraudulent or criminal activities at the Customs and Excise Division.

The government remains committed to engaging clients or taxpayers on the necessary payment arrangements that would allow entities to be in good standing with their tax obligations.

GIS

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Report of TAMCC settlement labelled fake news by union

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada 

  • Workers led by the Public Workers Union refuted settlement claims released on social media
  • Sixth week of protest involving 243 permanent workers employed by college council

A report circulating on social media to have stemmed from the Interim Chairman of the College Council, Augustine Vesprey, that a settlement has been reached between the Public Workers Union (PWU), and the TA Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) Council has been described as fake news.

The ongoing protest involving 243 permanent workers employed by the college council, is over the none payment of increments amounting to over $6.1 million over the past six years.

A release dated 6 December 2019 and entitled “Payment of increments to TAMCC staff” stated in part that the council had on 6 December 2019, presented the unions with a formal written offer wherein council will pay the $6.1 million increment in three tranches:

That the first scheduled payment will be made by 30 December 2019 in the sum of $1.5 million

The schedule for the payment of the other tranches will be made by 30 March 2020 upon the receipt by the council of the completed manpower and financial audit reports. These reports will become the basis for an understanding of the available financial leverage and, for ensuring prudence in the scheduling and payment of the remaining tranches.

Now into their sixth week of protest, affected workers led by the Public Workers Union (PWU), refuted the claims made in the release. “We are now seeing that there is a letter on Facebook stating that a settlement has been reached. We are not aware of any settlement. As a matter of fact, the last meeting that we attended with TAMCC, the chairman took this as a joke and to us, he was playing games,” said PWU President, Rachel Roberts.

Roberts said the union proposal still stands in that they are willing to accept their payment in three tranches starting with a $2 million payment in December and the other two tranches in 2020 at a reasonable time. “We went to a meeting with TAMCC and they indicated that at this time they can only pay $1.5 million. We indicated that what they will agree to would be a settlement in three tranches and the three tranches must mean that $2 million must be paid by December and the other $4 million, we would be able to accept it in 2020 in a reasonable time, so we didn’t give them a time frame,” she said.

The PWU president said the union is not clear as to when the next meeting will take place with the council on this outstanding matter and is also not convinced that the council’s declaration that they can only pay $1.5 million came as a result of consultation with cabinet. “The chairman indicated to us that TAMCC is only able to pay $0.5 million. When we stood our ground and we pressured the chairman he then went outside to make a phone call — but we are not certain that a true phone call was made because as he said he went outside to call the cabinet to determine what it is that the cabinet has decided to pay — and then he came back in and said the cabinet has decided that they will put in $1 million, but we are not certain that we can take his word for gospel.”

Meanwhile, President of the Lecturers Association at TAMCC, Adunni Johnson, said the lecturers will continue with the industrial action but he remains hopeful that a solution can be had very soon. He stated that the issue is much bigger than just a financial one, but also deals with the management of the college.

“The issue is not just a financial issue, the financial issue is just the icing on the cake but what led to the breakdown because there is little or no management at the college, so at present, we have to be hopeful but we remain between a rock and hard place,” said Johnson.

Johnson said it remains unclear if a report was submitted by the council to cabinet. Telephone calls to the Interim Chairman went to voicemail.

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