Are the right people responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture and related agencies?
I commend Dr. Vishnu Bisram for his letters (KN January 21 and 25) on the importance of agriculture in the economy and the findings of his opinion poll on the agricultural sector of the economy. Indeed, agriculture is very important for development, and should never be underestimated or marginalized in favor of the more romanticized emerging oil sector. But are the right people responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture and related or related agencies to lead and promote development. Is agriculture moving in the right direction? Is the agricultural sector a disaster? Is Zulfikar Mustapha the right person as Minister given his past Chair in Region 6? Is Peter Ramsaroop the right person for Goinvest? Is Sase Singh the right person to head Guysuco? Is Nizam Hassan the right person to lead GRDB? Is Robert Persaud the right person to lead diaspora investment? There are also questions about some other personnel. Do these figures have the necessary skills and competence for the tasks ahead? Will this government contract or appoint new individuals of honesty, competence and skill? Congestion is reported in GRDB and Goinvest. How are they resolved? Known APNU and AFC agents have displaced loyalists and qualified individuals in governmental positions in various ministries. Will investors or contractors have to pay bribes to do business or get approval for their scheme from various Ministers as has happened in the past?
Apart from clearing some drains and a rapid tendency to flood in many areas, mostly carried out by private contractors, not much has been happening in agriculture and related agencies. To his credit, the Minister is moving around and very active on the ground. But there are no new projects to instill confidence in agriculture or the economy as a whole. There is a lot of public relations stunt but no real private investment in agriculture or anyone in any sector of the economy.
After many months, there is no clear direction in Guysuco. The company remains incompatible with estate management and cultivation. There is a lack of confidence in top management. The staff is not pleased with Sase Singh’s leadership. Skeldon’s General Manager has resigned. The Enmore Estate is not in the news when it was supposed to be the first to be rehabilitated. The public needs to know why. Was Enmore land sold or donated?
And what’s behind deal tractors? Does anyone benefit from a planned deal?
In agriculture and in other ministries, nothing seems to have changed in public perception from when the PPP was dismissed in 2015. It is a continuation of where the work left off. Looking at various ministries, government agencies, and boards, a set of corrupt, discredited figures has been brought back. They were the individuals who cost PPP support in the 2011 and 2015 elections. The party learned nothing from its mistakes. Is it back to kickbacks and implants from the same individuals who have been brought back and even some Ministers? Ministerial rumors are bold enough to send senior staff like baggage men to charge fees from various contractors to secure favorable awards. Senior staff seem embarrassed about the situation. Is it back to the same routine?
Kumar Haresh Singh