St Augustine MP Prakash Ramadhar is convinced , “TT is in trouble, economically.” He made this comment to Newsday during a break in a forum on the economy hosted by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley at the Hyatt Regency Hotel , Port-of-Spain yesterday. Ramadhar was the only Opposition parliamentarian to attend the forum. After listening to presentations from several stakeholders during the forum’s morning session, Ramadhar said no one can doubt the seriousness of TT’s economic challenges at this time.
However, he said the good news was there is great opportunity to be seized once, “we manfully take on board all the considerations of the ideas put before us.” Saying it is clear many of the country’s resources have not been properly managed over time, Ramadhar said it was not Government’s job to solve all these problems alone. He said it was up to the people and those who move the economy forward to partner with Government, “to allow them to do what they do best.” Ramadhar said the stakeholders at the forum are the ones who, “grow industry, employment and the economy.”
He described the forum as “a pretty good idea” to have an open and frank discussion on what the facts are. Ramadhar said, “It is only based on that, we would be able to make proper decisions.” While some believe the forum may end up being just a talk shop, Ramadhar said it offered a “sense of inclusion” before the budget. Finance Minister Colm Imbert will present the 2017/2018 Budget in the House of Representatives on October 2. On Monday, Rowley said Government was willing to make changes to the budget after yesterday’s forum.
On his former Cabinet colleague Devant Maharaj’s claim the forum was a political mamaguy, Ramadhar said Maharaj was entitled to his opinion. He was also certain other Opposition members were following the forum which was being broadcast live on Caribbean New Media Group. Ramadhar was disappointed that the labour movement chose to blank the forum. He said to solve the country’s economic problems, “we have to do things very differently and that includes all of the sectors.”