By Raffique Shah
June 06, 2016
When constitutionally-independent institutions in the country seem to be collapsing, when holders of the highest offices seem confused about their roles and perplexed about their powers, and when the law publicly proves to be the proverbial ass, then, Trinidad & Tobago, we have a problem…a very serious problem.
Continue reading ‘Integrity Commission a waste’
Friday, May 13 2016 – newsday.co.tt
THE BOOKS have been cooked.
Recent disclosures to Parliament have led us to conclude that the State’s financial accounting is seriously flawed. The books have been rendered defective through suspect accounting practices, gaps in oversight of revenue, and the use of tactics that have the effect of masking shortfalls. The result? A distorted picture. A Budget statement every year, yet no true accountability.
Continue reading ‘Cooked books’
Auditor General’s report laid in Parliament
Wednesday, May 4 2016 – guardian.co.tt
Several million was paid by various People’s Partnership government ministries in rent for certain unoccupied buildings over 2014 to 2015, including large sums for a St Clair property leased by the past People’s National Movement administration which the PP continued to pay for, according to the Auditor General’s latest report.
Continue reading ‘Millions on empty office buildings’
Experts on Imbert’s IMF, World Bank move
By Shaliza Hassanali
Saturday, April 23, 2016 – guardian.co.tt
There was no need for Minister of Finance Colm Imbert to engage officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to provide advice on T&T’s fiscal policy.
This was the view yesterday of developmental economist Dr Ralph Henry and former minister in the ministry of finance Mariano Browne, following Imbert’s announcement on Thursday that World Bank officials are in T&T to assist and advise the Government on pressing matters, including a review of expenditure in all key areas.
Continue reading ‘No need for outside help’
January 26 2016 – newsday.co.tt
FORMER prime minister and current Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday said the ruling by the Privy Council was a clear vindication of her then government’s decision to repeal the controversial Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Offences) Act.
Continue reading ‘Kamla: Section 34 Ruling Vindicates PP’
By Raffique Shah
December 07, 2015
This recession did not creep up on us like the proverbial thief in the night.
It was long in the making. In fact, from as far back as the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, when Clico collapsed and the price of oil plunged from a brief high of US $140 a barrel to $30, informed, patriotic citizens were warning governments to go easy on the wild spending, to set aside more savings in the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund, to wean the population off dependency on subsidies, and most of all to diversify the economy from its over-reliance on oil, gas and petrochemicals.
Continue reading ‘Recession was predictable’
…Used Green and Unemployment Funds as collateral
By Richard Lord
December 05, 2015 – guardian.co.tt
Finance Minister Colm Imbert says the former PP government raided the National Gas Company (NGC) of almost $14 billion in cash. He made the claim while presenting three motions for debate in the House of Representatives yesterday.
The motions seek to increase the ceiling for government borrowing by $50 billion under the Development Loans Act, External Loans Act and the Guarantee of Loans (Companies) Act.
Continue reading ‘Imbert: PP raided NGC of $14b cash’
By Derek Achong
December 01, 2015 – guardian.co.tt
Three of the country’s most senior judges have failed to come to an agreement over whether the United National Congress (UNC) has conclusive proof that its defeat in September’s general election was due to a one-hour extension in voting, in order to secure a re-election.
Delivering its judgment in the appeal brought by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) and the People’ National Movement (PNM) at the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, the appeal panel, led by Chief Justice Ivor Archie, was split two to one, as it ruled that the UNC had met the requirements required for preliminary approval of the petitions.
Continue reading ‘Judges split on petitions appeal’
By Raffique Shah
November 23, 2015
The battle for leadership of the UNC has ignited a discussion on leadership in a broader context, with the party’s founder, Basdeo Panday, weighing in on the issue.
According to my columnist colleague Sheila Rampersad, Panday told her that Indians tend to seek a “pahalwan”-Hindi for warrior, strongman-to lead them. Sheila cited Panday himself as an example of the phenomenon. In 1973, he succeeded Bhadase Maharaj as leader of the sugar workers’ union, and in 1977 he succeeded in transforming the only organic inter-racial party ever (my view…I was a co-founder), the ULF, into an Indian party.
Continue reading ‘The last ‘pahalwan’’
By Raffique Shah
November 16, 2015
I address two issues of public importance today. First is the emerging controversy over this country’s attendance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting to be held in Malta next week. And second, I join the chorus of frustrated voices crying out for something to be done to curb the dangerous, deafening din of explosives and fireworks that have become intrinsic to festivals like Divali.
Continue reading ‘Boors will be boors’