PM Anthony urges better distribution of profits
Guyana Chronicle
April 29, 2004

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CASTRIES, St Lucia, CMC - Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony has urged the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to offer a more favourable distribution of profits than what is currently being proposed.

Dr Anthony says this needs to happen if more islands are to be in a position to give an unconditional “yes” to hosting World Cup matches in 2007.

Speaking during the current budget debate here, Dr Anthony stated “if there are countries that are willing to give an unconditional yes under the present scenario then I wish them well, but I will continue to ask for a better distribution profits as part of the negotiation process”.

He told Parliament that it was grossly unfair to ask governments to provide millions of dollars to meet the requirements of the World Cup without adequate financial compensation.

The Finance Minister noted that at the domestic level, hosting the World Cup brings with it serious and significant responsibilities.

He explained that in order to improve accessibility to Beausejour Cricket Ground (BCG) and to conform to the standards required for World Cup Cricket, it would be necessary to develop the access roads and utilities infrastructure to the grounds.

“We propose therefore to develop the Bella Rosa road connection to the grounds so as to create a well organised routing for vehicular access, with emphasis on a bus shuttle system,” Dr Anthony said.

In addition, he said the hosting of the event demands that amenities at even what is considered the most modern cricket stadium in the region need to be enhanced to provide for an additional 8 000 seats, temporary facilities for a large media and TV/Radio broadcast contingent for VIP hospitality and other major organisational requirements.

“When we commit to hosting matches in 2007, I want to be able to assure the St Lucian public that we can meet all of our obligations, that we can raise the financing required without adversely affecting our country’s fiscal ratings, and recover the expenses to our satisfaction,” he said.

Dr Anthony said that another of the more serious challenges is the need to increase the island’s hotel room capacity to 35 per cent of the seating capacity of the cricket grounds, which is expected to grow to 21 000 by 2007.

“We therefore need to increase out hotel bed size from 4 500 to about 7 500”, he said.

The Prime Minister, in his budget, announced a special package of incentives for new developments or expansions of properties completed before December 31, 2006.