The manifesto of the People’s National Movement (PNM) is due out “soon” says PNM Communications Manager Laurel Lezama -Lee Sing.
She said so yesterday when asked if the PNM was producing a manifesto for the August 10 general election and when it may be revealed publicly.
Other PNM sources projected it will be released later this week.
Last week Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar questioned where the PNM’s plan was.
The UNC has produced a manifesto with plans that include the creation of 50,000 jobs, lower personal, corporate and small business income taxes, and the removal of the PNM’s planned Revenue Authority, property tax and online purchase tax.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PNM has so far produced its Recovery Roadmap (Phase One). That phase deals with relief and other measures the Government had instituted to assist citizens to handle the fallout from pandemic shutdowns and related issues. When Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had presented the report in Parliament several weeks ago, he said Phase Two would be unveiled subsequently.
The plan was done by a team of private and public sectors officials including former People’s Partnership Ministers, Winston Dookeran and Vasant Bharath.
Yesterday PNM officials said that based on utterances by Rowley and other PNM spokespeople, the manifesto is expected to be aligned with the Recovery Roadmap Phase Two. They projected it will include plans to secure T&T’s social sector, job creation, diversification including more into technology-driven agriculture and improving efficiencies in various areas to ensure maximisation of revenues and equitable distribution of responsibilities.
They noted statements Rowley has made on the digitisation of state sectors to meet demands ahead.
They also pointed to recent statements by PNM’s Camille Robinson-Regis on the transformation of social service sectors to continue sharpening how resources reach the disadvantaged.
With global shortages of certain food items looming in the future—as a result of downtime due to the pandemic affecting some countries producing staples like wheat, garlic and so on —agriculture is expected to be a significant part of the manifesto. Sources said that package may include incentives to stimulate input and investment including tax exemptions and expanded linkages of the sector with programmes including the School Feeding plan. Focus is also expected on the energy and related sectors, including the hydrogen economy, better use of natural gas using renewable energy.
Meanwhile, the 150 candidates in the election—including from 19 participating parties—continued campaigning “on the ground yesterday” and daily. PNM leader Keith Rowley is expected to speak at national meetings tomorrow and Thursday. UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is expected to do a motorcade in San Fernando tomorrow and speak at a meeting tomorrow also.