The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has raised concerns with the World Bank about Government’s expenditure during a period when the State should be paving the way for early elections.
This was communicated by Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo at his press conference on Thursday. There, Jagdeo referenced home improvement subsidies that were recently distributed.
“You’ve seen the accelerated use of money, bypassing all the transparency safeguards. So they’re giving out money now, to fix your house … what should have been done over time, they’re rolling out in three months.”
According to Jagdeo, they have already raised concerns about Government spending with one donor agency. The next step, he said, is for the Party to raise its concerns with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
“This is money from the Inter-American Development Bank. We plan to write them. We plan to raise this. We’ve already raised this in a meeting with the World Bank, about the abuse of resources in this period.”
Jagdeo also raised concerns about land distribution and whether it was being done in an equitable manner. According to the Opposition Leader, there are cases where land is being distributed to persons aligned with the Government.
Since the passage of the no-confidence motion on December 21, 2018, the Opposition has said Government should be in caretaker mode. Government has insisted that programmes under the 2019 Budget will be carried out as per normal.
At a recent post-Cabinet press conference, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon had said that Government would not operate in a caretaker mode, but would continue business as usual.
In fact, the Minister issued a direct statement to public servants that they must continue to carry out their functions as per normal.
According to Harmon, Government fully intends to carry out all its programmes in the 2019 Budget. The Minister insisted that public servants had a duty to ensure these programmes are carried out.
According to Jagdeo, however, Harmon cannot protect public servants who do wrong and as such, he advised them to be careful of being used for nefarious purposes.