Committee probing Finance Minister’s spending fails to meet; Speaker disappointed

Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh presents the 2014 Budget in the National Assembly. [iNews' Photo]


By Kurt Campbell

APNU Executive Member and Parliamentarian, Joseph Harmon. [iNews' Photo]
APNU Executive Member and Parliamentarian, Joseph Harmon. [iNews’ Photo]
[] – The Privileges Committee, before which a matter involving Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh is pending, failed to convene a meeting despite being scheduled to do so last week.

Opposition Member of Parliament, Joseph Harmon told iNews that he received an email from some government Members of Parliament (MPs) indicating their unavailability to attend the meeting that was slated for Friday last.

He said he subsequently received a mail from the Parliament Office informing him that the meeting had been canceled and believes it was the absence of the government MPs that may be responsible.

However, when contacted, Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman said he only received indication from two members of the Committee that they would be available to attend the meeting.

The Speaker registered his disappointment that the meeting was not convened even as the House commenced a two month recess Friday last. Trotman said from all indication it would appear that Opposition members were unavailable too.

Dr. Singh was recently referred to the Committee by Trotman, who is also Chairman of the committee, after the parliamentary opposition objected to the spending of some $4.5 billon; claiming it was illegal and downright disrespectful.

When asked whether he [Harmon] thought it was intentional that the government MPs were unavailable, Harmon said “whether they make themselves available or not the Chairman must determine whether he has a quorum and once he has then he can proceed.”

Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh
Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh

The Speaker explained that he did not have a quorum on the last occasion to proceed and is yet to set another date.

However, Harmon expressed the belief that since it was the first meeting of the Committee, the Chairman probably wanted all members present but insisted that if government members continue to be absent, then the work of the Committee can go on.

The Committee has 10 members: the Chairman, who is a non-voting member, five government MPs and four opposition MPs.




  1. yo yolanda see how easy it is in calling yourself a foolish fool? no one did it for you…read back and understand what you wrote ha ha ha …only a fool would jail a thief for not having any proof theft occurred fool …the pppc might be a bunch of racist but they hire more of you blacks that you blacks hire indians and not only a fool you are a racist fool ..fool..peek in the pppc government public sector…then see how many indians in pnc sector fool ha ha

  2. You sound like an illiterate fool but i guess even fools have a right to there opinions. The PPPC is a bunch of racist, oppressive thieves. I say hurry up and Jail them!

  3. these pnc men playing a deadly game with guyanese…something has to give..the entire world knows members of pnc are nothing but a bunch of bullies who does not care about constitutional rights..if they know the finance minster if thieving the peoples money to enrich himself and family then get the police involved…but hey wait a minute…ramjattan done call the police on the finance minister..from day one the racist pnc was formed it trampled on the rights of guyanese..nothing new here..


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