Kamla Persad asks for clarity from Rowley-led government on their planning to shut down EMBDC

Rambharat resigned as Agriculture minister and was replaced by former Local Government minister Kazim Hosein. However, a special post is being created for him in the Prime Minister's Office to deal with land issues.

Kamla Persad asks Rowley-led administration on their planning to shut down EMBDC
Kamla Persad asks Rowley-led administration on their planning to shut down EMBDC

Trinidad and Tobago: Leader of United National Congress and Opposition of Trinidad ad Tobago Kamla Persad again came to the social media to lambaste the Rowley-led administration. She condemned and raised the question of that is the Government planning to vest ultimate power in the hands of former Government minister Clarence Rambharat and shut down the Estate Management Business Development Company (EMBDC)?

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar raised this question at the United National Congress (UNC) during the virtual meeting on Monday night as she disclosed that a People’s National Movement (PNM) Member of Parliament shared with her a copy of the Cabinet Note with respect to the appointment of a special advisor to the Prime Minister with responsibility for State Lands/Single Point of Authority Project in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Advertisement

Rambharat resigned as Agriculture minister and was replaced by former Local Government minister Kazim Hosein. However, a special post is being created for him in the Prime Minister’s Office to deal with land issues.

Persad-Bissessar pointed out that Rambharat said he resigned to spend more time with his family which appears to no longer be the case.

She said PNM members are concerned about the ‘disturbing development’ of his special post.

“I have to ask the Government if there are plans to shut down EMBDC? I have received a Cabinet Minute from a PNM MP, I not telling you who, I not calling any names, who are deeply concerned by what the PNM is doing with respect to State lands,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said in reading the Cabinet Note that Rambharat will be the single point authority for State lands.

She noted that this fell under the purview of the Commissioner of State Lands. Persad-Bissessar said the Cabinet Note indicates that the EMBDC State lands will fall under the single point authority.

Advertisement

She said that there are many court matters involving the EMBDC and contractors who have sued for the money owed.

‘A whistleblower has told me that it appears that the Government is going to lose the cases, and therefore they want to do a similar thing they did with EFCL (Education Facilities Company Limited),’ she said.

Persad-Bissessar said when the court awarded the EFCL contractors money; the Government shut down EFCL, so it became a bankrupt company.

She questioned if this was the plan for BDC. ‘A whistleblower has suggested this, so I’m asking the Government, is that your plan to shut down EMBDC?’