Prime Minister: $100m in hot-spot projects by late April

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. – File photo

THE Prime Minister has said a group of Cabinet ministers was actively working on plans for $100 million in assistance to socially-marginalised communities by way of initiatives to be run by the defence force.

Dr Rowley was addressing the post-Cabinet briefing on March 27 at Whitehall, Queen’s Park West, Port of Spain.

“I just came out of a meeting where that is being worked upon, as to how we will function to make use of that arrangement in communities.”

Rowley said a group of ministers was working to see how best to do it.

“So hopefully we are aiming to be able to roll out some of the activities and put a structure in place to deal with it, by the end of April. So it is being looked at.

“We are not just throwing out things, as was thought. We are thinking it through and trying to make it an effective interventionist arrangement.”

Rowley first announced the initiative at a PNM public meeting in San Juan on January 18.

He promised the money for the defence force “to retain and to hire reserve officers or retired officers and recruits, to go into those communities and ensure that what has to be built is built.”

The PM had said the measure would let the defence force bring security to the streets, rather than the rule of local dons.

He recalled UNC objections 15 years ago to an affirmative-action proposal to keep urban African youths from a life of crime and told the rally, “The chickens have come to roost.”