Money for lounge but not for workers
Dear Editor, Nothing this government does surprises me anymore. They borrowed $30 billion from Republic Bank to allegedly spend on refurbishing the closed estates so as to ready them for sale. This is, perhaps, the largest single domestic borrowing in the history of this country. This decision by itself is quite disconcerting.
Why spend scarce financial resources to refurbish assets that you intend to sell as only the purchaser will benefit from the improvements? In any event, no sensible details were made public in relation to what exactly will be refurbished.
Moreover, $17 billion of this $30 billion dollars was disbursed over two months ago and is lying idle in a NICIL bank account attracting interest at a rate of millions of dollars per month. As far as we are aware, not a cent has been expended for the purpose for which it was borrowed. Republic Bank, the lender, had cause to publicly complain that the monies are being used to liquidate existing liabilities with other commercial banks and not for the purpose for which it was borrowed.
Then, the Minister of Agriculture, under whose responsibility GuySuCo falls, in an uncharacteristic outburst to the press pleaded his genuine ignorance about why this $30 billion was borrowed in the first place and claims that he knows nothing about where it is and for what use it will be put!
As if this is not bizarre enough, we now learn that millions of dollars have been spent in the construction of a modern relaxation and recreation facility at LBI Estate Compound, known as ‘The Estate Lounge’.
So money can be found to build a well-appointed, air-conditioned rum shop for the elitists to wine and dine, but monies cannot be found to pay the 7,000 workers, whose families have been placed on the breadline, their severance pay to which they are lawfully entitled. And this recreational joint is built in the Estate’s compound within the clear sight of the workers and their suffering families who wonder daily from where the next meal will come!
This must be one of the most inconsiderate, insensitive and callous governments ever! Yours faithfully, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, MP Dear Editor, Workers’ right to severance was recently described in derogatory terms. Millions can be found to fund and furnish a sports bar while workers have to wait on their due. Could this ever be right? Yours faithfully, Shamshun Mohamed