Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 23rd 2013 Contents Referring to the Chancery Lane project opposite the San
Fernando General Hospital, John said the Austrian government
totally used local labour, but their technical peoplem who
made up one per cent of the project s labour force.
She said the situation is different for the Chinese as "they
still want to bring some element of (Chinese labour) - a 50-
50, that s what we negotiated so far." John said the unem-
ployment in T&T is low at this point and it is anticipated
when the HDC and Udecott roll out their 2013 programme,
it may "soak up" labour in T&T. This means people who are
underemployed would be fully employed.
"What they -- members of the construction sector -- are
to guard against is that construction is cyclical. That is why
when the construction slowed down, a lot of people were out
of work. It is a cyclical thing. When the construction comes
to an end, you have idle capacity. Now we have some idle
capacity which we are going to pick up within the next few
months, I am sure," John said.
Udecott under a new board
John retained her chairmanship when the new board of
Udecott was appointed on May 6. Seven new members were
appointed, two former members were retained.
The new board comprises: Dr Stephen Pilgrim, Anil Bridglal,
Marlon Morris, Anthony Gopaul, Prem Samodee, Aiyegoro
Ome, Rennie Mohammed and Shankar Bidaisee.
Earlier this year, Minister of Housing and the Environment
Dr Roodal Moonilal told Parliament that Udecott invested in
the CL Financial Group. Responding to this, John said there
is a mechanism to recover the money, but she fears Udecott
may not get back all of its invested funds.
"You are not going to get all of the money. You are probably
going to get $0.80 on the dollar or thereabout. At the first
board meeting, that was brought to the board. It was approved,
so now they would go to CL Financial. Of the $100 million,
we would probably recover $99.2 million. If we don t take the
money now, we will not get it until 20 years from now."
Asked how the decision to make the investment in CL
Financial came about, John said, "That was with the previous
chairman," referring to Calder Hart. "The previous chairman
invested that money into CL Financial."
Given that Udecott is the project manager for most of Gov-
ernment s projects, John was asked what would the $100
million be used for?
"That money really was supposed to have been part of the
money to fund the police stations. I don t know what the
thinking was. There was no documentation to say, well, I can t
recall seeing a board note or something to say, well, the money
is there sitting around and we could do a short-term investment,
we ll earn some money in the meantime."
Asked what was done to prevent a recurrence of such an
investment, John said no one can invest without first coming
to the board for approval. She assured that under her watch,
there would be no repeat of such an investment.
Referring to the HDC and its strategic direction, John said
she had visited the cities of Delhi and Bangalore in India in
February 201, along with Minister Moonilal and officials from
the Ministry of Housing and the Environment, to examine
various models of housing development across there.
"I think Dr Moonilal is looking for models wherever to see
what else we can take from to put it in what we already have,"
Parliament refurbishment update:
"In the next four or five months, the work should have
started. The Red House would be fully mobilised in terms of
the restoration. All the things have been put in place. We have
the restoration architect in place and now we are out to source
the contract, if we don t already have the contract in place.
Within the next four to five months, that project should be
fully mobilised, not completed, completion by 2015."
"We have Stollmeyer s Castle and that should be coming
to a conclusion within the next three months or so. We have
Knowsley. The board is now in place. We will be looking at
scoping that work. President s House is with the Ministry of
Works, we are happy that it s been sorted. We, hopefully,
would get Whitehall."
MAY 2013 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COVER STORY BG5
Continued from page 4
PHOTO: KEARRA GOPEE
PHOTO RETOUCHING: CHENIER BELGRAVE
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