Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2017 Contents A10 news
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Kamla: Govt reducing
expenditure by $3b
Opposition Leader Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar is warning that
thousands of public servants and
law enforcement officers may be
out of a job as the Government
seeks to reduce expenditure by
$3 billion this year.
Speaking at the United National
Congress' Monday Night Forum at
the Mc Bean Hindu Primary School,
Couva, Persad-Bissessar said the
plan was contained in Moody's
Investor Service comments on the
Government's mid-year budget re-
view that was published last Friday.
Reading the comments, Per-
sad-Bissessar said, "Further spend-
ing reductions could materialise
during the rest of the year as the
Government plans to cut $3 billion
from public salaries this year."
The issuer comments stated that
the budget review signalled bene-
fits from higher oil prices, but that
fiscal challenges remain sizeable.
The report also stated that while
Government maintained its fiscal
deficit estimate of 5.8 per cent of
the Gross Domestic Product, it was
higher than the intended target of
3.9 per cent. Central Government
operations resulted in deficit of ap-
proximately $5.4 billion for the first
half of 2017, $1.5 billion more than
the official forecast.
She said with 25,000 jobs already
lost under the PNM's governance,
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
should fire himself if his Govern-
ment planned to send home public
"Who are you going to fire? Are
you going to fire police officers, De-
fence Force officers, public servants
in the ministries? How are you going
to get a cut of $3 billion? It is mind
boggling. $3 billion in the next half
of this year, cut from where, public
salaries? I call on the Government to
please clarify and tell us how you are
going to cut salaries of $3 billion."
Stressing that the Government has
mismanaged the country's accounts,
she said the UNC has already estab-
lished an economic recovery. She also
called on the Integrity Commission
to investigate Government's recruit-
ment of US lobbyist firm the Group
DC, saying there was a questionable
procurement process. She said the
Government has already spent US
$600,000 for the firm to carry out
10 meetings, four of which were held
with a Democratic congressman,
four held with a Democratic con-
gressional aide and two held with
a CEO of a company called CAGE.
She said CAGE is seeking to become
the première gaming provider in the
Caribbean and Latin America by pro-
viding online gambling services.
UNC Political leader Kamla Persad Bissessar displays a document during
her feature address at the party's Monday Night Forum at Mc Bean Hindu
Primary School. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
winners who failed to meet
their obligatory service to T&T
are repaying the Government.
As of June 30, the Ministry of
Education has recovered approx-
imately $3 million from scholars.
The figure was given by Dr
Gaynelle Holdip, the ministry's
manager of scholarships and ad-
vanced training committee during
Monday's Public Administration
and Appropriations Committee
meeting which examined the
Ministry of Education's internal
controls and expenditure in Par-
liament. It was chaired by Bridgid
Committee member, Wade
Mark, told the ministry's acting
permanent secretary, Angela Si-
naswee-Gervais, that she spoke
about the ministry recovering $2.4
million through persons who may
have breached their scholarship
obligations to T&T.
Mark queried how many schol-
ars were guilty of this and what
kind of scholarships were involved.
In responding to the question,
Holdip said the ministry had re-
covered "$3 million as of the end
of June 30."
She said many of the scholars
are not necessarily in breach, but
choose to repay.
Scholars are required to repay
the Government if they fail to work
in T&T for the period of their for-
Holdip said the ministry has a
breach unit and a post monitor-
ing unit that are constantly in
touch with scholars who "may
not have reported in when they
were supposed to do so or who
did not complete their obligatory
service and left the country or left
the placement that they were in
without informing us."
When these scholars are tracked
down, Holdip said emails are sent
to them and their guarantors.
Holdip said the ministry would
let them know what their options
are in terms of repayment.
Asked by Mark how many were
in breach, Holdip could not pro-
vide an answer.
However, she said the ministry
has on record "38 persons who
have repaid thus far for this year
or who are in the process of repay-
ment this year."
When the scholar opts to repay,
Holdip said the ministry signs a
new agreement with them.
Last March, a national scholar-
ship winner, who did not return to
T&T after completing his studies
in medicine to give back service,
had been ordered to repay over $3
million to the Government.
High Court Judge Nadia Kan-
galoo made the order against Dr
Ryan Wellington after he failed
to attend the start of the civil
trial brought by the Office of the
Attorney General. • See Page A12
38 scholars repay
Govt $3 million
MANAGER, COST AND MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITES:
The Manager, Cost and Management Accounting is responsible for the
Cost Accounting and Inventory Management budgetary development
and administration, and the management of Fixed Assets under the
Authority's control. The Manager, Cost and Management Accounting will
report to the General Manager, Finance.
Eastern Regional Health Authority
Join the team.......make a difference
The Eastern Regional Health Authority is seeking to recruit a suitably
quali ed and experienced professional in the following vacancy:
Applications should be submitted with full resume, relevant
certificates and two (2) testimonials by July 17, 2017 to the :
Chief Executive O cer
Eastern Regional Health Authority
Supercare Building, Eastern Main Road
Sangre Grande, PO Box 4479
Please visit our website at www.erha.co.tt for details on job requirements.
UNSUITABLE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACKNOWLEDGED
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