Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 28th 2014 Contents A5
September 28, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday
blasted the Government and Finance Minister
Larry Howai for deliberately "deceiving" the pop-
ulation over the level of inflation.
Speaking to a crowd at the 25th annual People s
National Movement (PNM) St Ann s East Con-
stituency conference at San Juan North Secondary
School, yesterday, Rowley referenced an article in
Saturday s T&T Guardian which quoted the infla-
tion statistics from the Central Bank.
He said that higher food prices were set to push
headline inflation to 7.5 per cent, almost double
the figure Howai quoted in his budget delivery
earlier this month.
Rowley said Howai must have known food prices
were rising but chose not to inform the public
during his budget delivery.
"What manner of people are these?" he asked.
Rowley also told the gathering that he planned
to write to the Integrity Commission for an inves-
tigation into whether the Government was using
taxpayers money to fund its "Government is work-
ing for you" advertising.
He said the advertising included spots on tel-
evision and flashing billboards along the highway.
He said a permanent secretary revealed that the
public purse was being utilised and he planned to
ask the commission to investigate the matter.
Rowley once again defended the PNM s rapid
rail project and the multi-million dollar repayment
of the loan taken under the PNM for the feasibility
study. He described the situation as similar to
taking a bank loan to build a house and changing
the plan half way through construction.
"Would you not have to still pay the bank?" he
asked the crowd. (RS)
Two senior executives at the National
Gas Company of T&T (NGC) have refused
to comment on whether contractor Super
Industrial Services Ltd (SISL) breached
tender rules by seeking to outsource the
massive $1.6 billion Beetham Waste Water
The Sunday Guardian visited the Caspian
Drive end of the project in Point Lisas yes-
terday and was able to obtain photographic
evidence that work had begun on that end
of the project.
The Sunday Guardian contacted NGC
chairman Roop Chan Chadeesingh and its
president Indar Maharaj, but both could
not speak on the issue.
Chadeesingh said he was out of the coun-
"I haven t seen any newspapers. I am in
New York right now," he said.
Chadeesingh then directed all subsequent
questions on the project to Maharaj.
Maharaj did not respond to calls to his
mobile phone, but in response to a text
message he directed the Sunday Guardian
to send all "written questions to NGC" a
(sic) communication manager Ms Char-
maine Mohammed for an appropriate
He also informed the Sunday Guardian
that the office was closed at the time.
After several unsuccessful attempts to
contact the SISL head office, the Sunday
Guardian contacted the company s general
secretary attached to the board, Cindy
Seecharan answered two calls to her
mobile but repeated "hello?" several times
when the paper identified itself.
She did not respond to text messages.
The Sunday Guardian also attempted to
contact SISL director Jimmy Hosein but
again, all calls remained unanswered.
Finance Minister Larry Howai, in an email
exchange with the Sunday Guardian earlier
in the week, reiterated that the project was
being funded solely by NGC and was not
part of any loans from the Inter-American
Development Bank (IADB).
Howai said NGC was government-owned
and as such projects undertaken by the
entity were open to public accountability.
"The NGC is not exempt in any way. The
NGC falls under the Public Accounts (Enter-
prises) Committee (PAEC) of Parliament
and are required to account. In any event,
no one is above the law and any action can
be subject to judicial review," Howai said.
$1.6 B waste water project...
No answer from
NGC officials on SIS Gays in the UK say they will not be visiting T&T
anytime soon and are calling on their leaders and
Europe to cut assistance to the country.
This after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
said it was not legally possible to decriminalise
homosexuality in T&T at the moment.
She was responding to a question about gay rights
while at a T&T Investment Conference in Manhattan,
Readers of Pink News, a UK-based online news-
paper and one of Europe s largest homosexual news
services, bashed the PM for her comments.
Under an article entitled, "Trinidad and Tobago:
Prime Minister says gay rights is not
legally possible, " scores of readers responded saying:
"if it was not legally possible then make it legally
possible that is your job as a legislator, laws are man
made and not set in stone." Another reader said,
"maybe she should go back to the kitchen to cook,
clean and launder."
The PM also said this country was nowhere near
ready to establish a referendum dealing with the
decriminalisation of homosexuality.
UK gays promise
to boycott T&T
Amid the silence on all quarters
regarding this project, the Joint
Consultative Committee (JCC) has
renewed its call for the project to be
In an interview with the Sunday
Guardian on Thursday, JCC head Afra
Raymond said the project was "off-
balance sheet" as it did not feature in
Raymond said the JCC was not
questioning why SISL got the contract,
as SISL was part of the construction
consortium and belonged to the JCC, but
questioned whether proper protocol was
"What are we really doing and why
are we really doing it? How much would
WASA have to pay to these people over
X years? What is the rationale?"
He said if the state-owned enterprises
remained silent, then it was the
responsibility of the Minister of Finance
to present those facts to the public.
JCC CALLS FOR PROJECT
TO BE HALTED
The jobsite where construction for the tail end of the Beetham Waste Water Treatment Project is underway at North Caspian Drive, Point
Lisas. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Links Archive September 27th 2014 September 29th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page