Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 13th 2016 Contents A5
November 13, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
"Grasping at straws."
This is how Energy Minister
Franklin Khan described allegations
made by the Opposition Leader that
his wife s company was the recipient
of $55 million in contracts from the
Housing Development Corporation
UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar made the allegations while
speaking at the party s local gov-
ernment meeting at the Kanhai
South Presbyterian School on Friday
This latest allegation comes four
days after she made claims at anoth-
er meeting that the wife of Finance
Minister Colm Imbert was the recip-
ient of a millions in contract from
Referencing Gregory Chaucer s
Canterbury Tales, Kamla Persad-
Bissessar said ministers are hiding
behind their wives to collect money
from the Government.
"Chaucer wrote Wives Tale and
in Trinidad we have the club of
wives," she said. "I spoke on Monday
about the wife of the Finance Min-
ister receiving contracts from HDC,
tonight I m going to tell you about
another wife receiving contracts. It
leads you to ask are the ministers
hiding behind their wives?
"So you have the wife of a gov-
ernment minister receiving $13 mil-
lion and now I will tell you about
another company, the wife of anoth-
er government minister is a share-
holder---shareholder Laura Khan and
Vidara Enterprise Ltd, shareholder
Persad-Bissessar said she has doc-
uments to support her statements
and was willing to give a copy to
anyone who wanted to examine it.
The T&T Guardian requested a
copy and Persad-Bissessar s assistant
said the document would be sent
to media houses via email. However,
up until 3 pm yesterday, no email
was sent to this reporter.
Persad-Bissessar also said two
other relatives of newly appointed
Minister of Energy Franklin Khan
are shareholders in the company.
"There are two other shareholders
with the same surname Khan and
I hope this present Minister of Ener-
gy will not disown his children like
Faris (Al-Rawi ) did."
Persad-Bissessar said the monies
were paid for remedial works to areas
where Vidara had constructed hous-
"So they paid Vidara Enterprises
Ltd to repair the same things they
Kamla: Khan's wife recipient of HDC millions
UNC Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar with candidate for the upcoming Local Government elections at a
meeting held at Kanhai South Presbyterian School, Barrackpore, on Friday night. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
Whilst Opposition Leader
Kamla Persad-Bissessar was
addressing UNC supporters at
the Kanhai South Presbyterian
School on Friday night, a group
of men wearing PNM T-shirts
gathered a short distance away,
cooking and liming.
The group of about 20 men
gathered in a bus shed on the
corner of Kanhai South Road,
Barrackpore, under the watchful
eyes of police officers.
When a T&T Guardian
photographer stopped to take
pictures of them, he was
approached and told by one man
that the gathering was because
Barrackpore has 'gone red.'
The man said the group was
made up of people who did not
support Persad-Bissessar and
who felt she should not be
speaking in the area.
MEN IN PNM T-SHIRTS
MAKE A COOK NEARBY
TTNGL last week reported an
11.4 per cent decline in its after-
tax profit for the nine-month
period ending September 30,
Excluding the impact of cur-
rency translation, the company s
profit for the period January to
September 2016 was $115.9 million,
compared with $130.9 million for
the comparable period last year.
Including exchange translation
differences, TTNGL s total com-
prehensive profit for the nine-
month period amounted to $266.3
million, which was more than dou-
ble the year-earlier figure of $124.9
In his chairman s statement,
Gerry Brooks said Phoenix Park
Gas Processors (PPGPL) had been
adversely affected this year by
lower prices for natural gas liquids,
which it produces and exports.
Government created TTNGL after
it hived off shares of PPGPL to sell
to local individual and institutional
investors in 2015.
Brooks also attributed TTNGL s
reduced after-tax profit to lower
natural gas volumes to Point Lisas
The TTNGL chairman said: "To
mitigate the effects of a weaker
pricing environment, PPGPL has
remained focused on aggressively
managing its costs while main-
taining high uptime and operating
efficiencies at its facilities."
Brooks also said that prudent
cost and cash management would
enable TTNGL to maintain its div-
idend payout ratio.
TTNGL's comprehensive profit more than doubles
In a telephone interview
yesterday, Khan said it was true
that his wife's company had been
receiving contracts from the HDC.
"My wife does own a company
by the name of Vidara Enterprises
Ltd and since 2005 she has been
receiving contracts from the HDC,"
Khan said. "But she has not been
the recipient of contracts from the
HDC in quite some time. She
(Persad-Bissessar) is grasping at
Asked when was the last time
his wife was contracted by the
HDC, Khan replied, "I believe it was
in 2011 that my wife last did any
work for the HDC."
Asked to comment on Persad-
Bissessar's statement that
ministers are hiding behind their
wives, he said, "I won't comment on
that...but I can tell you I don't hide
behind my wife. My wife is a
legitimate businesswoman in her
Also speaking at the meeting,
Naparima MP Rodney Charles
launched an attack on Finance
Minister Colm Imbert, calling for his
resignation. Charles said Imbert's
apology for statements made
about citizens failing to riot in the
face of rising prices is not sincere.
He said he would accept nothing
less than Imbert's resignation.
KHAN: MY WIFE HAS BEEN RECEIVING CONTRACTS FROM HDC SINCE 2002
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