Newly-appointed Minister in the Ministry of Labour Rudranath Indarsingh has laid down the law for Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) workers, vowing that anyone caught in 'wrongdoing' will be hauled before the court. Indarsingh, who was shifted from the Works Ministry to Labour, made the statement as he launched the URP's Community Projects Initiative at Buen Intento, Princes Town, on Wednesday.
The minister warned: "If there is any wrongdoing those responsible will be brought before the judicial process (court) in keeping with due process of the laws of Trinidad and Tobago." Assuring that the URP would be redirected and re-evaluated, Indarsingh said: "There will be fairness, equity and fairplay in the system. "If the law enforcement agencies under the ministry's control need to intervene it will do so to ensure good accountability, good governance and the level of corruption reduced as we had in the past."
Indarsingh stressed that there would no longer be 75/25 distribution of URP projects.
The minister said over the years the number of projects and URP gangs had been relatively small in then Opposition controlled area. That, he said, would change. He added: "There seems to be a heavy imbalance where the last administration focused heavily on having projects in constituencies under its political control. They used and manoeuvred the system as a voting bank." The minister added: "It will not be business as usual (in URP) as we have grown accustomed to over the past nine years when you go to work and say it's Government-funded so no value for money, no transparency, no good governance, no productivity as it relates to this programme."