Works and Infrastructure Minister Jack Warner has suffered heavy losses in Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's realignment of portfolios, while new Transport Minister Devant Maharaj has control of the big agencies under the former Works and Transport Ministry. The new schedule of ministers portfolio was approved by Persad-Bissessar and sent to permanent secretaries yesterday. The schedule is expected to be sent to President George Maxwell Richards today for approval. Under the new schedule Warner has responsibility for nine areas. They are: Bridges; coastal erosion; drainage; heritage buildings; maintenance; and, roads and highways.
The schedule also lists the Programme for Upgrading Roads Efficiency (PURE). Warner has lost responsibility for 14 of the 16 state boards he had as Minister of Works and Transport. He remains with the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) and the National Maintenance Training and Security Company Limited (MTS). Meanwhile, Maharaj, who said he was sure the realignment of portfolios would be to the benefit of the national community, has responsibility for several big state agencies, including Caribbean Airlines, the Airports Authority, Air Transport Licensing Authority, PTSC, T&T Civil Aviation Authority, air services agreements, traffic management and shipping. The realignment showed the majority of Warner's former portfolio went to Maharaj.
The Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) is now under Local Government Minister Chandresh Sharma, while the Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Company Limited (CEPEP) falls under Housing and the Environment Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal. New Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Verna St Rose-Greaves schedule includes: Gender affairs; industrial schools; inter-disciplinary child development centres; Princess Elizabeth Home for Handicapped Children; T&T Association for Retarded Children; youth camps; and, youth groups. St Rose-Greaves has responsibility for youth academic training. She has two boards: The Adoption Board and The Children's Authority.