Friday, February 23, 2018

Kumar: PM should not have taken People portfolio

Taking on the additional portfolio of the Ministry of the People and Social Development might not be the best thing for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to do, Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce chief executive Catherine Kumar has said.

“She has a heavy load right now and there are a lot of urgent things the Prime Minister needs to address, like procurement legislation, campaign finance reform, crime—they require her attention. But I think what we would have liked to see is perhaps a reorganisation of the portfolios where maybe that ministry or portfolio could have been taken on by another minister,” Kumar told the Express Wednesday night at the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting dinner, Hyatt Regency (Trinidad), Port of Spain.

The Chamber has always said the Cabinet is just too big, Kumar said, and the constant dividing of ministries and adding more ministers is very costly to the nation and tax payer.

She did agree that the Prime Minister made the right decision to sack former minister of the people Glenn Ramadharsingh.

Persad-Bissessar on Tuesday night issued a statement saying she had advised President Anthony Carmona to revoke Ramadharsingh’s appointment as a Minister.

This followed an exclusive Express report that Ramadharsingh had allegedly misbehaved on a Caribbean Airlines flight from Tobago last Sunday, March 16, prompting flight attendant Ronell Laidlow to file a complaint against him.  

“I think it was the right thing to do. (Persad-Bissessar) rightfully said in her statement no one is above discipline and we have to put the country first and I think that was what was done. He did apologise. It was very unfortunate because I think he was a hardworking and good minister, but I suppose in life you have to stand the consequences of your actions and that’s what’s happened here,” Kumar said.