Jun 08, 2012 Letters
On Friday 1st June, 2012 I watched a call-in programme on R.C.A. Channel 8 called Late Talk Essequibo, hosted by Mr. Romel Roopnarine with the Regional Chairman of Region Two, Mr. Parmanand Persaud as his guest, and I am sure many other viewers will describe this programme as very poor and misleading.
Mr. Roopnarine started out by criticizing the combined opposition parties particularly the A.F.C. for the budget cuts and mentioned the Ethnic Relations Commission as one of the places where workers may have to lose their jobs, and how much the Commission is needed.
But what he deliberately did not say is why the combined opposition withheld the money that was requested for the E.R.C.
No government or combined opposition or one opposition political party should provide the nation’s money to a Commission that is unconstitutional; all that the A.F.C. Chairman is saying is that currently the E.R.C. is not properly constituted, hence no money was approved.
In the same breath he is also saying that as soon as that is corrected the A.F.C. would support whatever steps are being taken so that the E.R.C. would be able to function for the purpose for which it was created.
Mr. Roopnarine spent most of his time telling viewers how important the E.R.C.is and the number of persons likely to be sent home which is totally irrelevant, as regards its unconstitutionality long before the 2012 budget debate and during the Robert Corbin led opposition, concerned were reportedly raised about this unconstituted body, and the noticeable bias or suspected support for the ruling party by a key member of the Commission.
Those fears and suspicion were confirmed clearly for all to see, when the individual campaigned vigorously for the P.P.P. during the 2011 election, these are some of the things that Mr. Roopnarine should have told his viewers on that programme.
I am sure he had knowledge of the history of the ERC, and would ask this gentleman to read the editorial of the Kaieteur News for Saturday 2nd June, 2012 so that he would be better able to inform his viewers on this topic.
The Chairman then mentioned among other things, that he had invited a resident of the region to his office to discuss a problem that the resident has in relation to his NIS claim or contributions.
And as the Chairman he also invited another person to discuss some problems he was having in acquiring a house lot in a housing scheme area.
While no one should dictate to the Regional Chairman in any region who he invites to his office, I am not sure if the Chairman of this region is so qualified, trained or have the experience to deal with NIS related issues, for example, contribution records, sickness benefits, medical benefits, pension and all the other claims that are likely to be made by the contributors to the scheme.
The NIS regional office is a stones’ throw from the Regional Chairman’s Office and persons should be directed there. Being a contributor to the NIS from September, 1969 until recently I am in a position to advice that the staff at Anna Regina is courteous, able and capable of dealing with NIS related issues. Can you imagine our Regional Chairman meeting with about one hundred contributors daily at his office?
As for the individual who cannot acquire a house lot, he should be advised to visit the Ministry of Housing local office at Anna Regina, and engage the Housing Officers, who are the persons that are knowledgeable, and should be able to advice and maybe solve his problem.
We must always ensure that our officers be they those employed by the NIS, the Ministry of Housing or any other Ministry in any region are not compromised.
Was Jagdeo honest when he made those promises?
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