Opposition hopes Rambarran can do job
Sunday, July 15 2012
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SHARING A JOKE: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar shares a joke with House Speaker wade Mark during yesterday's parliament workshop at the Magdale...
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday expressed hope that newly-appointed Central Bank Governor, J’wala Rambarran, will be up to the task of maintaining the integrity of the prestigious institution.
Speaking to reporters during a break at a parliamentary workshop on governance and oversight at the Magdalena Resort, Lowlands, Tobago, Rowley told reporters: “Once there is confidence in the Central Bank everything will be all right, but if the confidence is not there, then there could be serious consequences.”
However, Rowley’s PNM colleague, Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert, whilst urging Rambarran to take his new office seriously, stressed that he must not bow to political pressure or paint a rosy picture of the economy when the facts may reflect otherwise.
Saying Rambarran’s appointment was a shock to him, Imbert said: “I noticed in his first public statement, he said that the way that we calculate economic growth is wrong and that it needs to be revised. I hope he won’t succumb to the temptation to fudge the figures.”
Imbert, who had also addressed yesterday’s forum on the issue of public accounts, urged Rambarran to walk in the footsteps of his predecessors, Winston Dookeran (now Foreign Affairs Minister) and Ewart Williams. He said both men had acted with integrity in office.
“Central Bank Governors, which include Mr Dookeran and Mr Williams, if it is one thing you could have been sure of was the integrity of the economics of this country,” he said.
“I hope that he would not succumb to temptation and succumb to political pressure and start to manipulate the data.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday assured that Government’s promise of procurement legislation was close to becoming a reality. She said the Joint Select Committee’s (JSC’s) report had already been tabled in the Parliament.
“We had conversations with the electorate that we would lay procurement legislation in the Parliament — that we have moved a step forward in having the report of the Joint Select Committee on procurement legislation tabled and adopted in the Parliament,” she told an audience.
The PM said they were now hoping to have the legislation in place to ensure there were checks and balances in the procurement process. Persad-Bissessar also addressed concerns by the Opposition about the Government’s perceived delay in bringing the national budget. She informed Rowley that several of the suggestions he made had already been addressed.