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Storeowner had ‘the best August’ this year – PM

Storeowner had ‘the best August’ this year – PM


Women, it seems, have a way of calling or visiting Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to comment on issues of national importance or to seek his intervention.{{more}}

In January 2010, during his Budget Address, Gonsalves told Parliament that travellers to the Grenadines via ferry will no longer have to pay EC$1 to depart from the wharf in Kingstown.

He said he decided to remove the fee based on the “suasion” of “an elderly lady” from Bequia, who visited him during the previous Christmas holidays.

The prime minister, however, did not provide any other information about the woman’s identity.

Some persons had referred to the fee as an internal departure tax, imposed on travellers to the Grenadines.

“She persuaded me to cause the removal of this one dollar user-fee even while she acknowledged its functional utility,” Gonsalves said in 2010.

And last week, he said on radio that a female storeowner in Middle Street had called him to say her sales this month was “the best August she has had since she has been operating business.”

Gonsalves did not identify that storeowner beyond saying “she has been there for a long time.”

“And she says if the others were to tell me anything to the contrary, I mustn’t believe it because she has done well,” added Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance.

He quoted the storeowner as saying that people are showing pride in their children and are “buying a lot of stuff”.

“So I am looking forward with interest when the whole season is over to get a better feel as to what their sale has been. Of course, some will always mourn, but what can you do?

“But this lady, without any prompting called me and I was very happy about this. So, we have our challenges, but we are holding it together and we are moving forward,” he said.

The prime minister’s comments came as he said his government’s $1 million road works programme, currently underway, is important to help some parents buy back to school supplies.

During the call to the radio station, owned by his Unity Labour Party, Gonsalves also discussed a number of other national issues, including the state of roads and repairs to the Kingstown Government School, which was damaged by fire earlier this month. (KXC)