THE Leader of the PNM Opposition, Dr Keith Rowley, is now intensifying what is clearly a campaign of misinformation by deliberately misrepresenting issues surrounding the housing allowance due to His Excellency President Anthony Carmona. This according to Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communication, Senator Vasant Bharath.
In a statement issued Monday, Minister Bharath condemned statements by the PNM Leader, Dr Rowley, who accused the Government of ‘deception’ on the issue of the President’s housing allowance.
“What Dr Rowley has demonstrated, for yet another time, is that nothing he says can be trusted; nothing he says can be taken seriously. He has taken an issue that is clear in the facts and very clear in the legislative provisions and is making every effort to confuse and mislead the population,” Minister Bharath said.
The Minister added: “The issue is clear. The Chief Personnel Officer is Secretary of the Salaries Review Commission (SRC). The line Minister for the Personnel Department is the Minister of Public Administration, and the Minister of Finance and the Economy also has a line responsibility.”
“As with all Ministries where Permanent Secretaries take guidance from Ministers, but remain the Accounting Officers, the Chief Personnel Officer remains the Public Service executive with the final decision making authority on these issues.”
Minister Bharath further stated: “In addition, the Chief Personnel Officer has made clear that she was well within her right and role to have made her decision and at no point was instructed by either of her line Ministers.”
“If Dr Rowley is seeking to raise a discussion on the functioning of the Public Service, then he must be prudent and responsible in his public pronouncements. But in any event, the PNM Leader must have the fortitude to demonstrate leadership and commit to the facts, rather than attempt to build a political campaign on skewed information.”