So, the Ministry of Works and Transport is learning rather belatedly that its job, if properly executed, requires a minimum amount of capacity in the area of research and development.
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Moonilal calls on Rowley: Declare your interest in Beetham water project
Opposition Leader Keith Rowley must say whether he has interest in any of the companies that unsuccessfully bid for the Beetham Waste Water (BWW) project since he had accompanied certain investors to go and see the UNC Government about a similar project in 2000, PP House Leader Roodal Moonilal said yesterday.
Moonilal made the call in Parliament yesterday during debate on a motion by Rowley calling for the Government to halt the BWW project. Moonilal repeatedly pointed out that Rowley was absent from the Parliament for debate on his own motion.
Querying why the PNM wanted the Government to halt the project, Moonilal said in 2000, under the past UNC Government, when a similar project arose, Rowley accompanied a group of investors to make representation to then minister Ganga Singh. Moonilal called on Rowley to say if he represents any of the 16 companies that unsuccessfully bid for the project this time.
He said if Rowley did, he (Rowley) would have conflicted his position in the Parliament debate and would not have been sincere in piloting the debate. Querying Rowley’s position, he pointed out if the motion succeeded and the project halted, the process would have to return to competitive bidding again. Moonilal said the former PNM administration had sanctioned the BWW project and had planned for it though the current PNM has criticised it.
He said the second bidder for the BWW project—Atlatech—wrote NGC in March saying it was not aggrieved that it had not won the bid and was not pursuing the matter further. He noted that the successful bidder SIS Ltd was partnered with the reputable firm of Foster-Wheeler and the PNM’s attacks on companies such as this would scare away potential investors.
Moonilal also accused Rowley of scandalising the names of NGC officials who had many years’ experience in the company. He said such situations contributed to “brain drain” and such attacks on the business and professional class was “part of the PNM’s DNA.”
Moonilal took issue with Rowley’s information, noting Rowley had made incorrect statements about the Attorney General and the New York consulate issue and the NGC chairman had to take out an advertisement to correct false information Rowley had given about him. Claiming Rowley didn’t check things, he also said Rowley had brought information on the issue, saying it was given to him by disgruntled NGC workers.
Moonilal said T&T was fast becoming a “Gestapo society” with paranoia. He said the Government welcomed the sunrise but not the “sunshine”—Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner’s paper—which he said carried many allegations. He said a picture of a house was deliberately leaked to the newspaper which still used it without checking.