“That is something that is being worked upon,” she told reporters after addressing an Administrative Professions Day workshop at Cascadia Hotel. She said those establishing a land-use policy include the Ministry of Food Production and the Ministry of Planning.
“There was a land-use document many years ago and the former (PNM) administration, I think, put it on the shelf to gather dust. So it is something we will need consultation with stakeholders. There is a great need for a land-use policy in Trinidad and Tobago, and we will not shirk from seeing that it happens,” she said.
Planning Minister Mary King, in a statement later, assured “rigorous work is currently being undertaken to update the country’s National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) and to revitalise the Planning and Development of Land (PADL) Bill.”
She said a Task Force, under Dr Azad Mohammed, was recently set up by Cabinet Minute 746 to oversee the preparation of the NPDP and the PADL Bill.
“The overarching mandate of this task Force is to review the current status of land use in the country,” said King. The Task Force also includes members of the newly-appointed Advisory Town Planning Panel (ATPP), chaired by Dr Tim Mooledhar.
The Task Force would work with the TT Society of Planners and the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) to revamp the PADL Bill which had lapsed in 2000 when Parliament was dissolved.
“The Bill will be updated and laid in Parliament in December 2011,” promised King. “Work continues on the NPDP, a plan which has the goal of identifying a hierarchy of urban and rural centres as well as areas for agriculture, industry and conservation, with a view to achieving long- term sustainability of the economic and social welfare of the country.”
Also at the Cascadia Hotel event, Persad-Bissessar was unfazed by Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams’ recent call for Government projects to lift the economy, as she spoke to reporters yesterday at an Administrative Professions Day workshop at Cascadia Hotel. “We are guided by the words of the very respected Central Bank Governor. There has been some growth. Indeed the Governor is predicting, in spite of that, he is predicting there will be growth. Last year there was no growth - we were into negative. So we are looking in 2011 to positive growth albeit at a small rate, but that is a good sign, a silver lining on the cloud,” she said.
She said the Government is in the process of injecting more into its infrastructural development. Persad-Bissessar said upon taking office, this Government couldn’t just pick up a project and run with it.
We voted against the non-transparent project construction that was taking place. So many of those are in the process of taking off, and some have already taken off. she said.