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BCCI president wants govt to let go of some public sector entities

The head of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is suggesting that the Freundel Stuart administration turn over the management of some public sector entities to the private sector, including at the Grantley Adams International Airport, the Bridgetown Port, the prison, and even garbage collection services.

In making a case for greater public-private sector partnership, chamber president Tracey Shuffler said Government needs to let go control of more state agencies.

“The assets are [state-owned] and I believe that will continue to be the case, but greater participation from the private sector in the management of both the airport and the seaport is something we expect to see more of with time,” she told Barbados TODAY.

Shuffler suggested that the areas of garbage collection, landscaping and catering for the hospital, schools and prison could also benefit from such an arrangement.

“We are hoping, in the chamber, that we can find more ways to work together with Government . . . and look at privatizing some of those, as well as the options of public-private sector partnerships, where we see that there is potential for growth and forward movement in the economy,” she said.

Pointing to the proposed move by Government to partner with the private sector as it relates to transportation, Shuffler described this as a step in the right direction.

“It is very evident that the Government has not only recognized that, but is working towards rationalization of routes so that the participation of the private sector can be more easily defined, so it can be a situation where there is equity in the sharing of the routes between Government and the private sector. So that is clear to all where we are going with transportation,” she said.

Shuffler noted, too, that Government and private sector players have been holding discussions on the issue over the years, but only on a “case by case basis”.

The BCCI head said it was “very clear that the driver of the economy will be the private sector”, and the chamber was therefore hoping that through greater private-public sector partnerships, more benefits would be realized.

She said, however, she would like to see a programme “where we have a better understanding of the areas of business in which Government will be looking to have a structured programme of private sector participation.”

“We have seen some of it and there is already private sector participation in some public sector organizations, but [it is about] how much more can we do together? How can we shift some of the burden of that employment and cost from Government to the private sector? [That] is something we are definitely willing to look at.”

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2 Responses to HAND OVER

  1. Jason Bowen
    Jason Bowen September 17, 2014 at 4:32 am

    They would benefit from being turned completely in to corporations where government can own the majority of minority in shares. The private sector could invest. That should help to reduce or eliminate the need of any gov subsidy and such an entity would now have to try to make a profit to stay afloat.

  2. Rickie Nurse September 17, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    After misleading and misinforming the people during the last election campaign on the issue of privatization, just to regain the government, this administration is now faced with a dose of karma that is staring them straight in the face with the high possibility, that they will have to go the road that they maligned, cursed and put down wrongfully as the opposition’s means of destroying the country if they were elected as the government instead.

    Ignorance is a curse when you are in a position to know better.

    During the mid-seventies when I was still at secondary school, the UK was faced with a similar situation from the recession as a result of the Middle East oil crisis. Margaret Thatcher was just elected Prime Minister and was left with the task of finding viable solutions for the out of control inflation that had gripped the UK.

    One of the measures employed by her was privatization of the majority of the the state owned entities that were a burden and cumbersome on the government to maintained financially, such as the ports (air & sea), public transport and airline travel. These are just a few mentioned.

    As a result, the UK was able to recover through her stewardship of the economy, successive UK governments maintained what she implemented.

    Her module was also followed partially by BLP administrations under the Rt Hon. “Tom” Adams and the Rt Hon. Owen Arthur when faced with the crisis they inherited on becoming the government. Barbados was also able to recover under their leadership. These are all proven realities, facts, not fiction.

    This current administration however is hell bent on doing the same old same old, round and round, tumble down dance, that is spiraling downward at an alarming rate without any sign of stopping, thereby getting a chance to see a way upwards.

    As I have said on a previous occasion, if they are lacking any ideas on how to restart engine of this country’s economy, all they have to do is copy a few of the BLP’s suggestions from their last election manifesto, it is public knowledge and available to all once it is circulated in that forum.


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