Kamla: Changes to improve delivery

(Trinidad Express) Three new Government Ministries have been created after Saturday’s Cabinet reshuffle.

In a 10-minute address to the nation last night, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar quelled the hours of speculation over the realignment of her one-year-old administration.

“The consensus by way of our achievement is that we have done well in our first year,” she said, adding that she was aware of the need to do better.

While Persad-Bissessar thanked those who served in the past year, she said a realignment of portfolios was “common”.

“In this Government, it was obvious that certain Ministries had responsibilities which were not in keeping with their core business,” she said.

She said that led to “duplication and inefficient use in human and material resources”.

Persad-Bissessar announced the appointment of Verna St Rose-Greaves as Senator and Minister of the new Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development, with Caroni North MP Ramona Ramdial appointed as a Minister in that Ministry.

Former chairman of the Public Transport Services Commission (PTSC) Devant Maharaj, will be installed as a Senator and the new Minister of Transport, leaving United National Congress chairman Jack Warner with the Works portfolio.

The new Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communications will be headed by Surujrattan Rambachan with Nicole Dyer-Griffith, the wife of the Prime Minister’s National Security adviser Gary Griffith, as a Senator and the Parliamentary Secretary in that Ministry.

Dr Fuad Khan will be the new Minister of Health replacing Therese Baptiste-Cornelis, Senator Kevin Ramnarine now stands as the Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs, while Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan would be moved to the Ministry of Public Administration replacing Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam.

Senator Embau Moheni will be appointed as Minister in the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism. Rudranath Indarsingh is now a Minister in the Ministry of Local Government, a third shift for him, from moving from the Ministry of Works and Transport to the Ministry of Labour. Princes Town MP Nela Khan was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary in that Ministry.

Tobago West MP Dr Delmon Baker was appointed as a Minister in the Ministry of Finance, while Cumuto/Manzanilla MP and former Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Collin Partap will now be a Minister in the Ministry of National Security, replacing Subhas Panday.

Tobagonian Terrence Baynes, a pastor by profession, was appointed Senator while La Horquetta/Talparo MP Jairam Seemungal was nominated for the post of Deputy Speaker of the House.

Senator Emmanuel George, who holds the portfolio as Public Utilities Minister, was assigned responsibility as Leader of Government Business in the Senate.

The Prime Minister said she was moved by the spirit of cooperation and understanding and that it was testimony to the coalitions commitment to team.

“Such changes improve both governance and quality of service,” she said.

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