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The T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TTCIC) is concerned that no one has been held accountable for the CL Financial crisis and the ripple effects it had on the local economy. On Wednesday at the Hyatt in Port-of-Spain while addressing the group’s post-annual general meeting (AGM) business dinner, newly re-elected TTCIC president Moonilal Lalchan said: “The levels of corruption at all levels, whether perceived or real, is eating away at our attempts at governance and transparency, causing us to rank lowly year after year, as a nation, on many international indices. To date, not one single person has been held accountable for the CL Financial debacle, which has cost taxpayers billions of dollars.”
Lalchan said implementation of proper public procurement legislation is moving at snail’s pace, thus furthering the perceived or real perception of corruption. “We believe that procurement reform is critical, and revolutionising the current system will bring benefits to our nation through more efficient use of taxpayers’ money,” he said. The chamber president also tackled the issue of campaign finance reform saying: “Funding of political campaigns has an impact that goes beyond elections. As we have stated on previous occasions, we cannot continue to focus on the detrimental effects of crime, without focusing on the effect that secrecy in campaign financing has on the public perception of wrongdoing at the highest levels of society. “The Chamber is in full support of campaign financing legislation that mandates full disclosure by all elected officials of campaign funds received and we will continue our call in this area.
Lalchan, who is serving his second consecutive term at the helm of the TTCIC, will preside over the Chamber as it celebrates a milestone 135 years of serving the business community of T&T, the organisation said in a release. In the release announcing his re-election, Lalchan said: “Our vision today—to be the voice of business in the ongoing development towards a strong sustainable national economy—is, most likely much the same as it was when we were established in 1879.”