(BarbadosToday)Minister of Energy and Business Development Senator Lisa Cummins has defended the Government’s move to safeguard the island’s social security net.
Speaking in the Upper House on Wednesday, she sought to assure Barbadians that the decision to transition the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to a standalone commercial state-owned enterprise was the correct step for the agency, noting that such an entity typically receives no monies from central government and is self-sustaining in financing its own operations.
“What has been created here, Mr President, is not only about governance which we will speak on over time. It is not only about independence and freedom from political interference about which we will speak. And it’s not only about ensuring effective management – we will speak about that too. But this is also about ensuring that our institutions are fit for purpose and equipped with professionals that are fit for the given role to which they have been assigned and that they are not subject to the vagaries of public sector transfers into and out of the system,” Cummins stated.
She pointed out that both of this island’s ports of entry are examples of commercial state-owned enterprises.
“The Grantley Adams International Airport is a commercial state-owned enterprise…. The Bridgetown Port is a commercial state-owned enterprise. It is run by a board, it finances itself from its own commercial opportunities and on the basis of its balance sheet. It oftentimes goes to the market and borrows directly as a result of that independent status. That is what is envisaged with this entity,” she explained.