In all my years of sitting on boards and committees in the private sector and local government in the United Kingdom with responsibility for spending millions of pounds sterling, I have never heard such nonsense coming from a Finance Minister.
Nowhere in the world, except in Guyana, would projects of magnitude be set up without the full costing. No one in this world, especially the Indian government will even think of funding a project without knowing all the details and its financial implications. Any successful project, small or large, requires a business plan and all the financial implications or else it would not get the approval of the funding institution.
In the case of the Indian government funding a particular project, is the Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, who studied in the UK, telling us that the Indian government gives away their money without any form of accountability? For the public‘s information, India is becoming a powerhouse in the world economy, rivalling the United Kingdom and other European countries. It could not have done so if there was no proper financial accountability and a high level of scrutiny. Of course, there is corruption, but people go to jail if they are caught – but not here. We place highly incompetent people to run our finances, like Juan Edghill. What qualification has he got to manage the finances of our country, except collecting donations after the church services?
Editor, charitable organisations in the United Kingdom and throughout the developed world, whether it is a small or large charity, are required to submit an application for funding and the conditions for funding are clearly laid out. A business plan, an action plan and a budget, with all its projections, are the basic criteria. If those conditions are not met, the application is not considered.
The opposition, the APNU and the AFC, is correct in voting against expenditures and calling for further scrutiny. It would mean that our opposition members of parliament, like Jaipaul Sharma, who has worked in the Ministry of Finance for many years and other sectors involving accounting, will have to give of their best to begin the process of rooting out all forms of corruption and corrupt practices.
Mr Greenidge, the Shadow Minister of Finance, must use all the skills that he acquired as a Minister in past governments to bring a halt to this lacklustre style of government that was run by Messrs Jagdeo, Ashni Singh and Ramotar.
The voters are enjoying this high level of scrutiny and examination of the country’s finances – which is our money paid through hard-earned taxes – that the PPP has been using, as if it belongs to them.
The ordinary citizens – the workers in the city, the sugar workers and the rice farmers and all working people – need to know how our money is spent, and only through these parliamentary processes will we learn about the years of highhandedness and bullying carried out by the regime. The people of Guyana must hold their heads high in the hope that the stables of corruption will be cleaned and we will get the type of government that is accountable to us, the producers of wealth. Let us be united in full force with our opposition parliamentarians and strengthen the call for a better Guyana.