Specialty Hospital Saga: PPP trying to deflect from its own “notorious deeds” – Ramkarran

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Ralph Ramkarran
Ralph Ramkarran

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Speaker of the National Assembly Ralph Ramkarran says that recent hullabaloo over the Specialty Hospital coming from the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is meaningless.

Ramkarran in his weekly conversation Tree blog accused the Party of which he was a former member of deflecting to shield its own “notorious deeds.”

 

Read the entire blog below:

The announcement by Government that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Fedders Lloyd, a reputable Indian company, relating to the Specialty Hospital project, has attracted several negative comments. During the life of the last government, the then Opposition consisting of both the AFC and APNU had refused to support the Specialty Hospital. The AFC’s opposition was founded on the suspect award of the contract to Surendra Engineering, a spare parts supplier, rather than Fedders Lloyd, which had a track record in the construction of such facilities and had made the lowest bid. APNU argued that Guyana needed improved primary care centres, rather than a specialized facility. One high official suggested that ‘Indians’ were ‘taking over.’ Chinese and Brazilian immigrants, who should be applauded for their valuable contributions to Guyana, were spared.

The Specialty Hospital project was good for Guyana and I strongly supported it at the time and criticized the Opposition, including for dragging ethnic considerations into the issue. I believed that their reasons for opposing the project were unjustified. Now that the Government has reversed its position and signed on to the project, it ought to be congratulated. I look forward to a similar reversal on the Amaila Hydropower Project.

The Government has not displayed any enthusiasm for an effective public relations system and capacity, which would have answered the criticisms that are being made in gloating and triumphant glee by the Opposition. The first criticism is of the MOU with Fedders Lloyd without a new bidding process and the second relates to the role of Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan in the matter.

The failure of the Government in dealing promptly with these matters facilitates accusations of nepotism and corruption by the most corrupt administration in post Independence Guyana, which now holds office as the Opposition. While in government, every device was employed, every advantage given, every trick in the book used, to steer contracts to friends and to exclude legitimate, credible and successful bidders such as Fedders Lloyd. Shamelessly ignoring its clearly flawed award to the corrupt Surendra Engineering, the Opposition is now clutching at straws to build a narrative of nepotism and corruption on no evidence, which they hope to use down the road in deflecting attention from its own notorious deeds. And the Government is doing precious little to counter it.

There is absolutely no reason why a new bidding process must be undertaken when the contract is ready to be awarded. If the value of the works already done is subtracted from the contract price, a new contract price is arrived at. The Government gets an advantage because the bid by Fedders Lloyd, the lowest at the time, is three years old. Prices have risen since then. A new bidding process is therefore to Guyana’s disadvantage. Taking into consideration the fact that only two entities came close, the crooked friend of the then Government, Surendra Engineering, and Fedders Lloyd and the qualifications and reputation of Fedders Lloyd together with the further delay that a new bidding process would occasion, the Government made the right decision to sign the MOU with Fedders Lloyd and to proceed later without a new bidding process.

There is no rule or principle which dictates that for a new contract, a new bidding process has to be undertaken. The Government cannot take into account, but can certainly alert the public, that those who are now demanding a new bidding process tolerated for a decade or more the extraordinarily stringent pre-qualification conditions that ensured, contrary to Guyana’s interests, that only one entity was pre-qualified to supply drugs to the ministry of health. Those same folks who now cry foul presided over the giveaway of radio and TV licences worth billions without a bidding process.

Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan has played an honourable role in exposing the flawed bidding process and the shallow, whimsical, reasoning that led to Surendra Engineering being awarded the contract. This flawed award has led to the loss of $900 million by the unsuspecting Guyanese taxpayer resulting from Surendra Engineering’s fraud. Mr. Ramjattan did a service to Guyana, albeit unsuccessful, in preventing loss to Guyana by the fraud of Surendra Engineering .

Showing only bombast and no contrition whatsoever, the Opposition accuses Mr. Ramjattan of influencing the choice of Fedders Lloyd, which he denies, and regurgitates the accusation of him violating the National Assembly’s Standing Orders. It states: “No member of the Assembly shall appear before the Assembly or any Committee thereof as Counsel or Solicitor for any party or in any capacity for which he is to receive a fee or reward.”

This Standing Order does not preclude a member qua member from seeking to protect his or her constituents from fraud in the national bidding process involving US$18 million, even if a party is the member’s client. Mr. Ramjattan would have been failing in his duty to his constituents and to the nation had he not alerted the nation and his constituents to the dubious selection of Surendra Engineering, even if Fedders Lloyd was his client, which he has denied. It is this act of exposure, which has made Mr. Ramjattan the target of the Opposition, which interprets the Standing Order to suit its own sleazy objectives.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Ramkarran should not be taken lightly. He is a sly two faced idiot who was kicked out of the PPP party including his friend Ramjattan.

  2. Ramkaaran you speak for the crooks of the PNC administration. You want facts here are some: Since the APNU took office, Guyana took massive loans from USA, Suadi, India, China and Mexico. These fools has no economic skills on how to develop the economy and generate revenue. Since the APNU took office, crime rate went from 6% to 45%…..Ramjattan has no common sense on how to be a security minister only drink rum! I suggest you stop being a self money greed hungry man and stop supporting the PNC if you care about the local people because very soon the economy will crash and Guyana will head under the ocean.

  3. Solid opinion piece, except that the previous opposition did not oppose the Specialty Hospital at the outset out of spite, but to highlight the need for upgrading existing health facilities. It has reversed its position because the remainder of the line of credit is still in tact, while the Indian government has gone one step farther and arranged to finance upgrading some existing facilities. That is a win-win outcome.
    Second, the then opposition was also opposed to the manner in which the Amalia Falls hydro project was being awarded, while advocating for a more comprehensive use of other neighboring falls to ensure maximum and continuous power generation.
    It seems to me that some folks are focusing on the projects and not on the manner in which they were being prepped for execution. Have they learned nothing about Skeldon, Marriott, Berbice Bridge or even the Enmore Packaging plant? Jagdeo gave Fip Motilall US$15.4m to build the Amalia access road and after he bungled that and walked away with a ton of money, the government had to spend and extra US$25, for a total of over US$40m.
    Jagdeo talks about ‘massive act of corruption’ but he is the king.

  4. Ralph Ramkarran continues to express his hate for comrades in the PPP/C. Not hearing much from Joey Jagan these days, another person filled with hate for the current leadership of the PPP/C. Jagdeo once said that Ralph Ramkarran hated him the most. Guyanese know who is Ralph Ramkarran. He is obviously NOT Boysie Ramkarran.

    Ralph Ramkarran: Quote “The failure of the Government in dealing promptly with these matters facilitates accusations of nepotism and corruption by the most corrupt administration in post Independence Guyana, which now holds office as the Opposition” Soon after he states, quote: “A new bidding process is therefore to Guyana’s disadvantage”.

    Why use the “bidding process” of “the most corrupt administration in post Independence Guyana” to cover for your corrupt practices? This is what the learned Ralph Ramkarran is supporting. The coalition government wanted to use this money to upgrade hospitals around the country but this would’ve been a breach of the funding arrangement with the Indian government. The APNU/AFC government was forced to accept the Specialty Hospital, if not the Indian Government would’ve cancelled the funding. Ralph Ramkarran is saying the APNU/AFC “ought to be congratulated”. For what?? So you can benefit from some of the legal services to Fedders Lloyd?

    It is known that Ramjattan is closely linked to Fedders Lloyd. In Ralph Ramkarran’s books this is not nepotism. According to the Conversation Tree blogger the defacto Vice President must be “congratulated” and applauded. I refused to read to whole blog because, as usual it is a piece of BS.

  5. Ramkaran defending Ramjatan !!!
    This is anticipatory bail and speaking the truth about all mistakes in the process of awarding speciality hospital project. Come on grow up Mr.Ramkaran this is not a tell tale democracy and behave like an elected parliamentarian who has to answer the citizens of Guyana. Stop defending your own friends in the government because a lie cannot be truth even if you and few more people in the government support the lie.
    Guyanese are not fools to take your words on awarding such a big project without bidding to a company that is disqualified earlier. Ramjatan is an agent otherwise why his name should appear in the deal?
    You guys are clueless of what you are doing. You have no vision. Everything is standstill. Please start the hospital and hydroelectric project ASAP . Remember you can’t complete anything.

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