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As the Saint Lucian government was presented with a cheque from the Taiwanese on Monday for the new phase of the 2016 Constituency Development Programme (CDP), Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced that the advance will be used towards paying for projects that were completed in several constituencies.
Chastanet said although it is generally known that the projects are first identified and the funds would usually follow, he claims that the previous government did the very opposite to that.
“In this particular case, the former government seems to have changed that a little and had identified the projects and had spent prior to it being received,” the prime minister said on Monday at the signing ceremony.
According to him, most, if not all of the money is going to be used to pay for projects implemented over the last four months.
Chastanet also expressed gratitude for the payment, which was not due until later this year.
He said, “It is certainly going to go a long way ambassador, in being able to bring relief to some of the people who did work and were yet to be paid for that work.”
Chastanet noted that the Ministry of Economic Development is currently assessing all the work programmes and will be looking to make sure that the people who did work, receives payment.
“Again, I ask for some patience of some of those contractors out in the constituencies…we are only receiving the monies today for projects that were committed previously.”
The prime minister also spoke of the tremendous benefits the programme has had on Saint Lucians country-wide. He said the CDP has helped tremendously to improve the country’s infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese Ambassador Mou Hua-Wei also spoke about the benefits of the CDP and gave his commitment that his country will continue to work with Saint Lucia to improve lives.
“CDP is one of the most important programmes between our two countries since 2007 and this programme has had over 1,000 projects completed. It has created over 8,000 jobs or maybe more, to enhance the development of various communities all over Saint Lucia,” ambassador Mou Hua-Wei said.
During the new phase of the 2016 CDP, Saint Lucia will receive EC$13, 441,000 or US$5 million dollars. A cheque for EC$10,752,800 or US$4 million which forms part of the first part of the funding was handed over to government today. The Tawainese government is expected to hand over another portion of the fund in October.