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$3 million in equipment


Road repair works in St.Vincent and the Grenadines might face fewer bumps from September this year.

On Tuesday, June 27, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves disclosed that he held talks with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela regarding important pieces of equipment for the Public Works Department.{{more}} He said that they have been ordered and would be delivered between July and September this year at a cost of approximately $3 million.

“The idea is as they become available they deliver them…We will be able to lease those pieces of equipment to small contractors so that we can spread the gravy among small contractors who can do work,” said Dr.Gonsalves.

He pointed out that in St.Vincent and the Grenadines there are small road contractors who can do work but lack the equipment. He claimed while they have the technical knowledge they do not have the economic base to get the equipment and normally they have to wait until one of the larger contractors can rent them the necessary equipment.

Meanwhile, Dr.Gonsalves used the opportunity to announce that Venezuela has agreed to offer St.Vincent and the Grenadines 25 scholarships for the academic year 2006-2007.

He noted that there are so many scholarships available to students that they are now “picking and choosing”.

“There has been a bonanza of scholarships,” Dr.Gonsalves emphasized.

The prime minister used the opportunity to encourage students to take advantage of the scholarships available to them to avoid having to face huge debts on completion of their studies. He advised that taking a student loan should be a last resort.