OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday stood by her claim that the Government’s National Investment Fund (NIF) will turn out to be a scam known as a Ponzi scheme, even as Finance Minister Colm Imbert said her stance was childish and unpatriotic.
She told Newsday yesterday, “I reiterate that this NIF is an ill-conceived, vague, deceptive Ponzi-like scheme being piloted by an equally vague, deceptive, incompetent government. This Ponzi scheme, like the Grenada stadium, will eventually collapse.”
She urged Imbert to answer her queries.
“Why is it that the Government is borrowing from the public by way of bonds instead of selling shares to the public as was promised by the Minister of Finance?
“Are the bonds guaranteed by government and if not, why not?”
Persad-Bissessar asked how has Imbert calculated the profits of the companies in the NIF over the life of the bonds, and the resulting dividends to be paid to bond-holders?
She asked which NIF firms have a government representation or control on their board of directors.
“Does he acknowledge that in the offering of bonds on the domestic market it is really a case of borrowing on the domestic market?
“Is this akin to the Government taking a four billion dollar unguaranteed mortgage against those companies with the lender being the unsuspecting public of TT?”
Criticising Imbert’s ministerial tenure, she said, “His only achievements thus far are taxing, borrowing and buying scrap iron.”