For the second time in 11 days, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has reconfigured elements of her Cabinet by beefing up the manpower at the Ministry of Finance and Economy.
She has appointed Vasant Bharath and Rudranath Indarsingh as Ministers in the Ministry of Finance.
Former banker Larry Howai remains the Minister of Finance.
Bharath also retains his portfolio as Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment.
While the portfolios of several ministers were downsized in the July 23 Cabinet re-shuffle, Bharath remains the only minster to hold a dual portfolio. He was the only minister to act as Finance Minister when former Minister Winston Dookeran held that office.
Indarsingh, on the other hand, was moved from his position as Minister in the Ministry of Local Government to Minister of State in the Finance Ministry. The Prime Minister made the announcement of the changes through a press release issued yesterday before her departure to St Lucia for the 33rd Caricom Heads of Government meeting.
These appointments, the release stated, took place with immediate effect.
Persad-Bissessar told the Express by text yesterday that the need for a combination of experience in public life and economic expertise was one of the driving forces behind her appointments.
She believed that under Howai's stewardship and the vast experience of both Bharath and Indarsingh in public life, the economy will take off as anticipated.
Persad-Bissessar said Dookeran had laid the foundation for economic growth, which she was confident will occur under three-man team now in the Finance Ministry.
For his part, Bharath yesterday described the move as a "good fit".
He said there was going to be a lot of collaboration with the two portfolios with a view to "kick-starting" the economy.
"It's going to be very hectic and I won't have much free time but my background is in finance. I am certain the Prime Minister would not have asked me to take on these responsibilities if she didn't want me to," he said.
Asked his thoughts on the local economy given Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams' recent statement that the economy was in a slump and lower than expected growth rates for 2012 were projected, Bharath responded: "The economy is well poised for growth. We have the human capital, an appetite to invest and we have people who want to take risks."
But the only way to kick-start the economy, he said, was to remove a number of bottlenecks in the system which act as a disincentive to investment.