Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Illegal production of alcohol concerns Social Partners

ILLEGAL production and consumption of alcohol were among issues discussed when the Committee of Social Partners (CSP) held its fifth regular meeting which was chaired by Legal Affairs Minister, Elvin Nimrod and Minister for Economic Development, Oliver Joseph.

There is no legislative drinking age and the law for selling alcohol in Grenada to minors only provides for it to be sold in covered containers.

“This effectively means that anyone can purchase alcohol, including minors and the vendor will be not violating the law. All that is required is for it to be sold in a covered container,” said one children’s rights advocate, who believes that it’s way past the time to review that legislation.

As for the illegal production, there are persons – according to trade officials – who produce “Bush Rum”, also called “Babash”, without going through the right process and the rum is both produced under questionable health standards but is sold as contraband goods.

Other matters discussed at the meeting were debt restructuring and Carriacou Marina Project, but the main agenda item was a discussion on the “Road Map for a Social Protocol/Partnership” by Dr. Andre Vincent Henry.

Dr. Henry, who is facilitating the process for establishing a social protocol, held his first session with the CSP in June 2013 where he presented on the topic “Building a Social Dialogue Road Map: Agenda and Success Factors”.

His presentation then detailed considerations that should be borne in mind and the steps that should be taken in developing a Social Protocol. At that time, he also congratulated the CSP on the camaraderie observed and urged that this be nurtured. At the 5th meeting which was held on July 26th, the discussions focused on the actions/steps that the CSP must now take for the establishment of the Social Protocol.

Dr. Henry, according to a news release from the Ministry of Finance, suggested that a Memorandum of Understanding be developed and timelines set to ensure a smooth process. The release said that Dr. Henry is now scheduled to meet with the partners (unions, private sector, churches and government) separately, to determine what each partner wants from the Social Protocol. He will then develop a matrix of interests, which will highlight common areas and areas of difference, which will be used as part of the process for finalising the protocol. (LS)

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