Finance Minister Colm Imbert must account to the people of Trinidad and Tobago for the total sum borrowed from the Development Bank of Latin America, also called CAF.
Mr. Imbert must also indicate to what use each of the loans has been put, and, in specific terms, how they have benefited citizens.
These loans are to be repaid by the people of Trinidad and Tobago long after the failed PNM administration is voted out of national office.
The latest loans, totalling US $160 million, add to previous borrowings from CAF beginning in 2016 and amounting to US $1.2 billion.
Trinidad and Tobago is, therefore, indebted to CAF for almost TT $9 billion, and there has been no accountability on the disbursement of the funds.
The previous loans were designated for improving the national infrastructure but the roads and bridges are the worst in the hemisphere and there is no evidence of any improvement works in recent years.
One of the two loan agreements signed on Tuesday provides for drainage works in flood-hit communities, but the Rowley Government has not shown any zeal in remedying this recurring serious problem.
Mr. Imbert must detail the expenditure and timelines for previous CAF-sponsored projects and future endeavours.
With respect to the US $120 million loan to “strengthen the digital economy,” the Minister must provide a status report on the digitisation of the public sector.
The evidence reveals that the Government is still at the starting gates with respect to digitisation, and has not even filled requisite essential jobs in the public sector.
While the global community has utilised digitisation to become more efficient and competitive, T&T’s tardy initiative remains a snail-paced one-person exercise, with no track record of performance.
The Rowley Government has a responsibility to report to the nation on all loans secured on the people’s behalf, including the almost TT $9 billion from CAF.
There must also be interval reporting on the progress of projects financed by the loans.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR MAYARO