By Tracey Khan Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan yesterday (Thursday, September 18), called on Government to pursue the construction of Guyana’s first Specialty Hospital following the cancellation of the last contract with Surendra Engineering Company (Ltd), out of India.
“The Alliance for Change was never against the Specialty Hospital, it was just against this one that had a lot of faults from the tender board… so if it has to be re-tendered let it is.”
Ramjattan is supportive of the second bidder with the highest points during the last tendering process getting the contract so that the work can be proceeded with.
He sought to make it clear that he is in no way lobbying for Fedders Lloyd to be given the contract, since he was accused of this by government.
He endorsed the project as a good investment into Guyana, once the right channels are used for the tendering and awarding of the contact.
Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon recently made the announcement that construction on Guyana’s first Specialty Hospital, which the administration has been passionately pursuing in recent time, has halted after a major fraud was uncovered.
He told reporters that that the move to suspend construction on the facility resulted widely from the delay in timelines and inadequate accountability for public funds by the contracting firm – Surendra Engineering Company Ltd (SECL) out of India.
Yesterday, Ramjattan beamed as he made it clear that their position from the inception was that the contract should have been taken away from Surendra because of the “glaring illegal activities has been vindicated.”
“That company knows nothing about building a specialty hospital and it was a fraud being committed whereby almost US19M were going to go down the drain, fortunately just $US4.5M has gone down the drain.”
Ramjattan said his Party is willing and has the capacity to help Government retrieve its US$4.5M from the company.
“We are willing to help the government to get back that $US4.5M from Surendra, and I have been speaking to some political figures in India who have indicated that there are two sources that you can go to, one is the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in India called CII and another a parallel organization Federal Indian Commercial Institute, FICCI, where you can go and make complaints against big companies that have done damage to you financially and these bodies can in a way help to restore back you into your status quo.”
The Party is not in support of Government taking Surendra to Court and believes this is a publicity stunt.
“That caused the Indian Government to block the disbursement of the Guyana Government that is the reason why they are now calling Surendra a fraud; it is because of that being blocked by the Indian Exim bank and Industry and Finance of Indian that the contract had to be yanked from Surendra.”
Government claimed that SECL had issued to the Guyana Government a forged document purporting to have emanated from the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT).
This attempt to deceive the administration was short-lived after CBTT, when contacted, disclaimed that it played a part in the formulation and submission of the document, Luncheon added.
The administration will be pursuing criminal charges against the company to recover unaccounted public funds from the tune of US$4 million which was given to the company.