Categorized | Business

Gov’t: Compensation, But Not Cash- Assessments Continue To Identify Qualified Candidates

The Christie administration is still looking for ways to determine how best to compensate nearly 350 businesspersons who were affected by the multi-million-dollar New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP), but that compensation will not include a large amount of cash, according to State Minister for Finance Michael Halkitis.

“We are looking at a few options like business license relief, real property tax relief and we also want to look at assisting people with bills at public corporations like National Insurance. So there are a few options we are looking at and the submissions continue to come in,” Minister Halkitis said.

“It’s an ongoing process and so we want to begin this process as soon as possible.”

The former administration had its fair share of complaints from business owners, including complaints from both the Coconut Grove Business League and business persons from Prince Charles Drive.

Both entities said they lost millions of dollars because of the road works.

While on the campaign trail, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) promised to bring relief to the business owners.

Minister Halkitis said the government is still sifting through applications.

“It’s difficult to put in place a cutoff date because the road works are still going on and some people are just being affected because they are working on new corridors now,” he said.

“We are just asking for people to be patient because we understand it is a tremendous challenge for them and we are doing the best we can to come up with a programme that can bring assistance to them.”

He also explained why the government doesn’t expect to compensate with cash.

“We don’t have millions of dollars to compensate people,” Minister Halkitis said. “That is why we are looking at several options – non-financial options. The reality is we don’t have millions and millions of dollars for compensation as much as we wish we could. We have to face reality that we want to bring this relief but you have to work with the constraints that you have.”

Meantime, he said the government is going to do its best to make sure that those who can be compensated will be.

“We are going to vet the applications properly to make sure that these things are genuine and we can’t go through something and say just because someone says something, we go ahead and pay them. That is part of the process, to make sure that any relief we give is deserved,” Minister Halkitis said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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