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Business groups welcome reshuffle, new ministers

By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

Members of the business community are willing to work with and support newly-appointed Government ministers. 

But they have also expressed concern about the number of Cabinet reshuffles over the past three years as well as the added cost that the inclusion of a new ministry will incur.

Speaking with the Express shortly after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced the details of her third Cabinet reshuffle Thursday afternoon, president of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud gave his thoughts on the appointment of the new Minister of National Security Gary Griffith.

“I would just like to say that we certainly wish him well and we wish to assure him that we will continue to try to play a constructive and supportive role and we feel that we have a good understanding of the predicament that the country faces and we will continue to try to work with the protective services and the Ministry of National Security in trying to assist and pursue strategies which would bring the type of results which the country needs so desperately,” he said. 

In a statement yesterday, DOMA congratulated Griffith and the other newly appointed ministers, Raziah Ahmed and Gerald Hadeed.

Chief executive officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce Catherine Kumar said Thursday the Chamber was always willing to work with new ministers appointed to Government. 

“The new Minister of National Security has some background in the field of National Security and we look forward to meeting with him and talking about our plans and our recommendations and hearing what are his plans and recommendations to improve the crime situation in the country,” she said.

A release later Thursday from the chamber extended best wishes to the new ministers but expressed “great concern” that this was the third Cabinet reshuffle in three years.

The chamber added: “We reiterate our comments made following the last Cabinet reshuffle in 2012, that we hope that each minister will be able to adapt quickly to their new portfolios to ensure that the business of running the country is not interrupted.

“We also remain concerned, that once again, our Cabinet has been expanded to include an additional ministry, with attendant increase in expenditure. We certainly hope that the expanded Cabinet will result in an equally expanded service delivery to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

“With this new reshuffle, we particularly look with interest to the new Minister of National Security, and hope that, with his background in security, he is able to bring some tangible benefits for crime reduction in Trinidad and Tobago.” 

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