BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Friday 6th March 2020)- In his second visit to St.Kitts-Nevis within five months High Commissioner of India to St.Kitts-Nevis Dr. K.J Srinivasa, who is based in Guyana, gave another recent sit- down interview with local media workers regarding updates on the latest developments concerning relations with the Federation and other CARICOM (Caribbean Community) countries.
That press session was conducted at the Tiranga (authentic Indian cuisine) restaurant and bar located at Frigate Bay on Monday 17th February 2020.
Asked by this media house about what has been happening lately, he commented: “A few things actually from the last time when we met. There’s been development on bi-lateral relations in September of last year on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly [held in New York]. Our Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi met all the 15 CARICOM heads of state and government and some countries were represented by their foreign affairs ministers…”
Dr. K.J Srinivasa continued: “This was a very important meeting because this was the first ever India CARICOM summit. So as part of that summit, a few decisions were taken; one of them being India’s commitment to provide $1 million dollars each to all the countries as grant for quick impact community development projects. It could be anything which helps the community…schools, playgrounds; anything that can be built in $1 million US dollars we are going to fund it no questions asked.”
He went on to point out that: “Apart from that, $10 million dollars to each of the countries line of credit for renewable energy and solar energy projects basically for climate change prevention. So we are now working with the St.Kitts-Nevis government asking them for proposals to work on those lines of credit and grant,;we’re waiting for their response.”
“In fact CARICOM has asked us to send experts in fisheries and so we have already starting working on that proposal,” he added.
Dr. K.J Srinivasa also touched on potential opportunities for training programmes in different area including agriculture, information techonolgy (IT) and renewable energy.
“We are willing to send experts in various fields to train your people various subjects…agriculture, fisheries, dairy farming; anything of that sort or even technology involved (like) renewable energy or IT…anything that involves development we are willing to send experts from India, for of course a limited tenure, but they’ll be here stationed in each of these countries if there is a proposal in effect to that from CARICOM.”
He disclosed that another point of discussion at the summit “was how to combat climate change so they are working very closely with each of these countries with various strategies for our proposal for forming the International Solar Alliance which I had spoken about last time.”
He informed that St.Kitts has yet to ratify the treaty for the formation of that alliance noting that meeting held that day was to push for the signing.
“So St.Kitts has finally joined that alliance and in December , they signed the treaty. They are still to ratify it but today was one of the discussions for us to actually push them to ratify that whole treaty.”