When the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Administration assumed office in early August, it inherited a governmental infrastructure that is “rotting and has decayed” over the past five years due to previous administration’s “incompetence, abuse of power, nepotism and corruption”.
This is according to Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandllal, who painted a very troubling picture of the current state of affairs in relation to the National Treasury and other governmental institutions.
“As soon as we got into the government…we begun to work, we discovered very quickly that the treasury was empty, that the productive sectors were dormant, that business and commerce are at their all-time low and that the morale of the people are beaten and broken,” the Attorney General asserted during a recent interview on the State-owned NCN.
According to Nandlall, in almost every area of governance, there is evidence of neglect and mismanagement.
“So in every Ministry you found rot…basically nothing happened in five years, we knew from the Opposition, we were seeing this from the outside, we were hearing about it, but when we entered into the government itself and we were able to examine, the structures and the apparatus within the government, then we were able to realise and ascertain the level of destruction which has taken place,” he asserted.
Nandllall further pointed out that the extra budgetary funds which were left by the then PPP Government, “billions of dollars, were empty”.
He explained that it was necessary for the Government to move quickly into activating the constitutional processes by bringing the Parliament into motion so as to kick-start government after a five-month’s long delay.
The first sitting of the 12th Parliament, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Tuesday, saw the approval of a total of $11.2 billion for 16 constitutional agencies for the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year.
A complete National ‘Emergency’ Budget is expected to be presented in the National Assembly by the end of September.
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo had affirmed that the Government will be pushing a progressive, robust parliamentary agenda, in line with their manifesto promises.
“(Expect) a lot of progress. Big focus on development. Implementation of the plans that we campaigned on,” Jagdeo said.
“It will be an aggressive agenda…in that budget, you are going to see a lot of our manifesto promises fulfilled, although it’s an emergency budget. We need to have a stimulus package ready for the Private Sector to resume economic activity.”
Soon after the new Government was installed, President Irfaan Ali established a four-member ‘special technical’ team to conduct a rapid assessment of key state-owned entities.
The team, comprising of Certified Public Accountant, Nigel Hinds; Chartered Accountant and attorney-at-law, Chris Ram; Financial Consultant, Sasenarine Singh and Public Communications Consultant, Kit Nascimento, reviewed the operations, policies and programmes of the various entities and has since submitted its findings to the President.
President Ali had commissioned the review to get a better understanding of the agencies’ functioning over the past five years.
While the content of the report has not yet been made public, it is understood that the team discovered gross mismanagement of financial resources at the various State entities.