Robert Persaud wants Guyana Geology and Mines Commission to buy an elephant for his anchor babies to play with
Robert Persaud’s Ministry has no authority to spend money
FEBRUARY 22, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
…still to be gazetted-Greenidge
While there are those that laud the creation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment,
there are those that criticize the expansion of Government.
Others question the legality of the operations of this new entity.
Former Finance Minister in the People’s National Congress Government, Carl Greenidge, said that he is yet to see the new Ministry officially gazetted.
Greenidge believes that all of the monies being spent by the new Ministry can be considered illegal.
According to Greenidge, what is even more reprehensible is the fact that the Minister is even instructing entities outside of his purview to undertake expenditure.
Greenidge was referring to a request by Persaud to have the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) expend monies from its revenues to purchase an elephant for the Zoological Park.
Greenidge said that A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is proposing to request of the Government (and we are at one with the Alliance For Change on this) to have all of the agencies such as the GGMC which are semi-autonomous in nature and manage their own revenue to be brought under the purview of the Consolidated Fund.
He explained that these agencies are supposed to manage revenue in trust for the state but given the manner in which the entities have been operating Greenidge is pushing for them to be brought back under the purview of the Consolidated Fund.
“We have seen that these things have been extensively abused….It is not only a NICIL (National Industrial and Commercial Investment Ltd) problem or a rogue official.”
Greenidge said the fact that the Minister happens to be assigned two different Ministries does not give him the power to simply take money from one operating entity and use it for another, let alone instructing the entity itself to be making purchases that do not fall
within his competence and for which the articles of association and the article establishing the entity stipulates.
Greenidge did warn that it is the board of the GGMC which is ultimately responsible “so if the board is foolish enough to respond to an illegal demand by the Minister they will be held accountable.”
“So what you see taking place in NICIL in the past is not peculiar to NICIL, it is a phenomenon of the PPP operation under the presidency especially under (Bharrat) Jagdeo.”
He explained that one worry that the opposition has as it relates to public pronouncements is the fact that “between Messrs Persaud and (Dr Leslie) Ramsammy, for example, you hear a number of public pronouncements which clearly are inconsistent with the law and the regulations.”
Greenidge reminded that, “I have not seen the new Ministry gazetted and without that happening no monies should be spent by anybody purporting to run or have oversight over these Ministries.”
The former Finance Minister said that the issue at heart is but a part of the problem plaguing Guyana. “What is the President doing just allowing Ministers to run riot irrespective of the law? So there is in all the points of tension that have arisen in recent times between the opposition and the government, the question of legality.”
Greenidge said that regardless of whatever positive statements are being made by President Donald Ramotar, “his ministers don’t seem to recognize that we are under a new dispensation and under the new dispensation granted by the electorate we have a mandate to bring the activities of the executive as the legislature properly under the law.”
The agencies that fall under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment includes: the Guyana Forestry Commission, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, the Guyana Gold Board, the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Guyana Wildlife, the National Parks Commission and the Protected Areas Commission.