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Opposition criticises $410m. fund

PORT OF SPAIN – Political Leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), David Abdulah, says he is “deeply troubled” by Cabinet’s decision to provide $10 million to each serving Member of Parliament (MP) as the funds may be used as a means to pay “party hacks” and line the pockets of officials.

Last Thursday Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie told of Cabinet’s approval of a $410 million Constituency Development Fund to be equally divided among the 41 serving MPs.

The funds are to be utilised for infrastructural projects within the respective communities of each MP, Tewarie said.

Abdulah yesterday criticised the establishment of the Community Development Fund.

“Thirty million dollars per MP over the next three years equals close to $1.3 billion of taxpayers’ funds in the hands of partisan politicians,” Abdulah stated.

“If this is how constituency development is now to be promoted it represents another indictment on the governance practices of the People’s Partnership Government and another complete repudiation of the policy positions articulated in the manifesto of the Partnership which Manifesto is supposed to be government policy,” he stated.

Abdulah said because of issues of “corruption, nepotism, discrimination and other malpractices” currently taking place in State enterprises the country can expect “unprecedented levels of bobol and bacchanal given the partisan nature of the management of the (Community Development) fund”. (Express)

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