Vasant, Rudy to help Larry
By Clint Chan Tack Wednesday, July 4 2012
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PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday said the appointments of Trade, Industry and Investment Minister Vasant Bharath and Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh to the Ministry of Finance and the Economy will complement the efforts of new Finance and Economy Minister Larry Howai to strengthen the economy.
Newsday was able to briefly contact Persad-Bissessar shortly after her arrival in St Lucia to attend the 33rd annual Caricom Heads of Government summit which begins at Gros Islet today and ends on Friday.
Asked whether the appointments of Bharath and Indarsingh were designed to help Howai in his task of strengthening the economy, the Prime Minister said, “Yes.”
In welcoming the appointments, Howai said this matter was discussed with him beforehand. Howai said, “The ministry is one of the largest in the Government and it is traditional for there to be additional ministers. I believe the two ministers will be very useful in ensuring the smooth operation of the ministry.”
From 2002 to 2007, then Prime Minister and Finance Minister Patrick Manning was assisted by three ministers in the Finance Ministry. They were Conrad Enill, Christine Sahadeo and Ken Valley (now deceased). Valley also served as Trade and Industry Minister in the former PNM government during this period.
Speaking about his new appointment, Indarsingh expressed his gratitude to Persad-Bissessar for giving him yet another opportunity to serve the Government and by extension the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Since the People’s Partnership assumed office in May 2010, Indarsingh served in the Ministries of Works, Labour and Local Government before his current reassignment.
Noting that Bharath has also been appointed to serve in the Finance and Economy Ministry, Indarsingh said this ministry now has three persons who have experience in banking (Howai), business (Bharath) and labour (himself).
Indarsingh said while specific responsibilities still have to be worked out, he hoped his background as a trade unionist would assist in the development of economic strategies that would help the country. He said issues such as finance, financial stability and inflation are “near and dear” to all workers in the country.
A brief statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister said Bharath has been appointed as a Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Economy. The statement said Indarsingh has been appointed a Minister of State in the same ministry and “these appointments take place with immediate effect.”