The Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region One (Barima-Waini) is refuting statements made by the Ministry of Business accusing it of selective distribution and misrepresentation of Small Business Bureau (SBB) registration forms.
This is according to a statement that was issued yesterday by Region One Vice-Chair Sarah Browne following the publication of a Ministry of Business notice in the Sunday Stabroek.
The notice read, “the Ministry of Business is concerned about recent reports coming out of Barima-Waini (Region 1) that Small Business Bureau registration forms are being selectively distributed by some members of the Regional Demo-cratic Council and are being misrepresented as applications for grants and loans.”
Additionally, the notice indicated that reports were received regarding RDC officials who have allegedly been promising grants to their constituents and advising them to “blame the Government if these do not materialise.” In this regard, the Ministry offered the reassurance that no personnel representing any political party is involved in the processing of applications for loans, grants or any other services provided through the SBB and that the processing of such applications is done in a “fair and transparent manner.”
However, the RDC has since expressed its displeasure at the allegations, since the Regional Office had offered support to the SBB by assisting persons to photocopy forms since some individuals were not informed of the agenda of the SBB. At the time, the SBB was said to be in the region to host a workshop aimed at educating persons on how to access SBB grants.
“The Ministry of Business needs to seek clarity from RDC Officials before making allegations and tarnishing the name of the RDC for cheap political gain,” the statement said.
“Several small business workshops were held across the region with the knowledge of the RDC, the last being a workshop held by The First Lady, H.E Sandra Granger at which constituency candidates for the APNU/AFC were allowed to publicly campaign at a Government funded event,” it added.