GIS: Newly released figures have exonerated the Keith Mitchell led government against oppositions claims that it had plundered the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
The figures, released in parliament, also confirmed the sale of more than 50 million dollars in state assets by the previous Tillman Thomas administration, who also fell consistently, fell short of paying its contributions to the NIS.
Prime Minister Mitchell says the figures, which include 75 million dollars in treasury bills obtained from the NIS, have cleared his administration in the face of opposition claims which were not substantiated.
In 2010, the state contribution to NIS was 16.5 million, about 1.5 million short of the required amount.
The following year the government again fell short of the required amount by more than 8 million dollars.
In 2012, the government paid 5.4 million when they were expected to pay 18.4 million, a whopping 13 million dollar shortfall.
However things changed for the better when the new Mitchell led administration assumed office in 2013.
State payment to NIS was 16 million dollars that year as opposed to the 19 million while in 2014, 19.5 million was paid, slightly short of the 20.2 million.
However, in 2015 government made amends for previous year’s short fall by paying 25.6 million instead of the 19.7 due for that period.
Additionally, the previous government took 15 million dollars from NIS in treasury bills in the years 2009, 2010, and 2011, while in 2012 that figured jumped to 59.6 million.
In 2013, the state took 20 million dollars in treasury bills from NIS.
“We had part of that so we were partly responsible for the 20 million dollars Treasury bill in 2013,” Prime Minister Mitchell stated.
Assets sold by the previous administration include government’s shares in Grenada Breweries limited and Cable and Wireless, former site of parliament, Old drill yard, Sandino Plant and the former St. James Hotel.
Sites for a former Television station and radio station were also sold including land and properties in more than three parishes as well as a St.George’s property which did not belong to the government.
All told, assets sold by the previous Tillman Thomas administration amounted to more than 50 million dollars.
“This is the picture of the team outside there who are charging this government with selling everything”.