Who is running the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, is it the PNM or the People’s Partnership?” This the question that must be asked given the comical response by Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat blaming the Former People’s Partnership Government in relation to the issue of import Duties still being charged on Herbicides and Agricultural Chemicals when the fact remains, it is his administration who currently has the policy making power.
It is ironic that the Government has found ease in removing other Policies introduced by the People’s Partnership that were beneficial to the Population but are finding it difficult to retract this one in an effort to uphold its commitment made during the budget debate that all agricultural inputs inclusive of chemicals would be exempt from duties and taxes by January 1st 2016.
Government must be questioned as to why they moved so swiftly to reinstate VAT on over 7000 food items which were not subjected to VAT under the People’s Partnership, subsequently increasing food prices, but cannot uphold this commitment they made to the Stakeholders of the Agricultural Sector.
How was it possible for the current Administration to stop the Laptop program which benefited thousands of secondary school students as well as halt the Food Card Program affecting over 11,000 families so rapidly but yet find difficultly in addressing this policy despite their commitment towards boosting Agriculture?
If Government is still executing some of the Previous Administration’s Policies such as this one, how is it that other Polices which are critical to the lives of our nation’s citizens such as the Opening of the Children’s Hospital and completion of the Point Fortin Highway are not being undertaken?
As Chairman of the UNC, I call on Government to stop playing “musical chairs” with the lives and welfare of our nation’s citizens. As a Government they have a constitutional responsibility to undertake all policies that protect, develop and better the lives of our citizens. In the same way they have found resources to complete the Brian Lara Stadium, Red House Project and Soca in the Seas, I demand on behalf of our population, especially our nation’s Children that resources be allocated to the Opening of the Children’s Hospital in Couva, the UWI Campus in Debe as well as the Completion of all schools under construction.