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Howai: London must be transparent
Finance Minister Larry Howai says that it is the Government’s intention to recover as much of the estimated $20 billion that has been spent bailing out Clico and British American as possible. He said the cost of the bailout had increased the central government’s total debt to GDP from 38 per cent to 47 per cent.
He said if the Government is able to recover monies from Clico or CL Financial, the country’s total debt would be reduced. Asked if he was considering talking with Clico’s former chairman, Lawrence Duprey, with a view to giving him back the insurance company, Howai said: “We are not at this time contemplating any discussions with Mr Duprey to take charge of the company....We would not rule out any options available to us, but at this stage the short answer to that is no.”
On the issue of the declaration by Tobago House of Assembly chief secretary Orville London that the Minister of Finance had no authority to direct London to provide information on controversial land deals in Tobago, Howai said: “I don’t think that it is the intention of Mr London not to provide the information. I think he recognises that he is using public funds and therefore it is important that he be as open and transparent with all parties as possible.”
Howai said he did not intent to respond to London through the media, adding that he was sure that the THA would write to the Ministry of Finance providing information about how soon the clarifications would be ready.
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