The Government of Grenada is taking decisive action to safeguard funds earmarked for investment in real estate development projects under the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme.
Prime Minister, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell said the intention is to foster greater accountability and prevent misappropriation.
Addressing local agents and other stakeholders in the CBI sector at the recent Investment Migration Round Table, Dr Mitchell said the integrity of the CBI programme must be protected to ensure its long-term sustainability.
Dr Mitchell said, “To safeguard the sizeable investments made in CBI real-estate development projects, Government has now stipulated the creation of escrow accounts where developers are required to deposit project funds and provide regular reporting on the use of funds and the progress of projects.”
He noted too that the CBI Unit will improve its monitoring mechanisms to ensure that developers deliver as promised. He said, “The CBI Unit has now engaged engineers and accountants, whose respective roles will be to visit project sites regularly to track progress and to audit the escrow accounts and ensure that funds are being used for developing the projects. We are confident that the introduction of this requirement will help to avert the misappropriation of funds that are intended to develop CBI projects.”
Managing Director of Grenada Co-operative Bank Ltd., which organised the recent forum, Richard Duncan said the escrow account is a welcome initiative that will ensure project funds are disbursed according to predetermined criteria.
He said, “An independent audit will take the process a step further to ensure there is full transparency and integrity in the CBI programme. It is a welcome development that ensures that the brand, image and perception of the programme are all protected.
Grenada’s CBI programme allows qualified individuals to gain citizenship through investment in a CBI-approved real estate development project or by making a contribution to the National Transformation Fund.