Senator Jepter Ince, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, as he delivered the lecture.
Private sector needs to step up!
Some stakeholders in the private sector have been complaining about the increase in the National Social Responsibility levy, but Senator Jepter Ince, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, believes that the private sector has no grounds for complaint.
His comments came as he delivered a lecture during the Astor B. Watts Lunchtime Lecture Series, which was held at the Democratic Labour Party’s Headquarters.
“I have said before, the private sector of Barbados is an extension of the public service… Every decision to carry this country forward is made by the government of Barbados,” he said.
Ince explained that the Government has tried to reach out to the private sector in certain industries in order to get their help in developing the island, but has not received much.
“We gave the private sector the ploughing programme because they said that they could have done better, so it was given to them. Within a number of years it went under and it cost the Ministry of Agriculture ten million dollars and six tractors to bring it back under the government and back on track,” he said.
Furthermore, he added “We had Sam Lords Castle lying down for years. It took the Government of Barbados to take the initiative to bring brand hotels to this country. We said we were going to diversify the energy industry. Do you believe that Government should be the one to set up an energy fund in Barbados? We should be implementing policies, but it took the Government almost 50 million dollars to set up an energy fund to diversify an energy sector in Barbados so that when we are raising oil prices and energy prices we would have a buffer.”
He said he believes that initiatives such as these should be ones brought to fruition by the private sector and that government should be going into Parliament and putting policies and amendments in place, not doing the job of the private sector.
“We need to discuss the role of the private sector in Barbados!” he opined.