You will not see skyscrapers and tall buildings but the People’s Partnership Government has delivered in terms of people-centred development, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said last night.
The Prime Minister spent two hours speaking with CL Network CEO Tony Maharaj and radio host Sadro Mohammed on Radio 90.5 fm Platform—with a special live interview on select television stations.
She also responded to callers who phoned into the programme with questions.
Questioned on some of the achievements of her Government, the Prime Minister said the mistake her Government made was not communicating their accomplishments to the people.
“We became so busy governing, that we did not communicate as much as we should have so now when we realise and people say what have you done, show us where is the development, I make the point always that we are about people-centred development,” she said.
“So I may not be able to point to a skyscraper in Port of Spain but I can point to 70,000 laptops for the children, I can point to the increase in the minimum wage, I can point to the increase in pensions, I can point to the increase in the number of roads and bridges and box drains,” she added.
She said lessons have been learnt and members of Government are on the ground re-connecting with the people.
“We went through a sort of disconnect, we have to reconnect and I think since then we’ve learnt from experiences and I know our MPs are back on the ground and my instruction is to stay on that ground, remain on that ground,” she said.
Education, she said, was an area of priority and one that was personally dear to her, given her own life’s experience to attain her education.
“Education is the passport out of poverty,” said Persad-Bissessar noting that the biggest cut of the budget this year went to education with over $ 9 billion allocated.
Persad-Bissessar noted that in Barbados the government was looking to decrease its funding for tertiary education and here in T&T her Government is doing exactly the opposite and in fact expanding educational opportunities through GATE, OJT and skills training.
Her vision, she said, is to have a highly-educated knowledge-based society.
The Prime Minister said crime fighting will continue in four areas—prevention, detection, conviction and rehabilitation.
More time, she said, needs to be spent on detection and catching the criminals. She said the police rapid response unit is on the ground and the national operations centre will be on stream.
The Prime Minister also spoke to her Government’s achievements and initiatives to come in the health sector including the health card system which will be implemented in January.