CONGRESS of the People leader Prakash Ramadhar is welcoming the establishment of the new ministries announced by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as she revealed her new-look Government on Friday.
Speaking at a post National Council media conference, at the party's Operations Centre at Caroni Savannah Road in Chaguanas yesterday, Ramadhar said it is visionary for a Government to look at some of the issues the new ministries are intended to focus on.
Referring specifically to the ministries of the Environment and Water Resources under Ganga Singh, and National Diversity and Social Integration, under Clifton De Coteau, Ramadhar said the results will far outweigh the additional resources needed to establish those ministries.
"I always believe in minimum input with maximum output,'' Ramadhar said.
"In relation to the new ministries, for instance the one that Ganga Singh has been put in charge of, I think that is going to be one of the most important ministries for the future. We must never forget that in the world today, fresh water is an absolutely scarce resource. We cannot think only in terms of the delivery of water for today, but for ten, 15, 20, 100 years (from today).
"The environment if it is not protected, instead of it protecting us, if we poison it now, it will poison us later. That is a critically important ministry and that (the environment) has always been very close to my heart and the Congress of the People so I am very happy about that ministry.''
Ramadhar said the issue of social integration is something which has been overlooked for many years in T&T. He said the COP has always maintained that politics should never be used to divide people.
"We need to know more about each other. Very often the thing that divides us is a lack of knowledge and, when we learn more about each other, we will realise how very similar we are or how rich we are as a people and our separations of the past must now be seen as strengths of the future.
"It is visionary for a Government to look at these things. No successful society has closed a blind eye to these matters. None.''
Asked by the Express whether those goals could not have been accomplished under existing ministries, Ramadhar's said it is easy for those things to be said until one gets into the business of governance. He said it has become necessary for some of the existing portfolios to be severed to allow for greater focus to be placed on "those things that are critically important''.
"It is easy to say that you have a super ministry and all of these things. For instance, Housing and the Environment is a conflict within itself in that you have land use, you have the environment and it would not be the right mix to have one ministry dealing with those two conflicting issues.''
Asked to comment about the appointment of Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner as Minister of National Security, Ramadhar said he wanted to wish Warner absolute success in his new portfolio.
"We will co-operate in every possible way and we have to work as a team for T&T and share the best of ideas with each other and support each other.''