Apr 15, 2016 News
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has denied reports that he or anyone from the Ministry of the
Presidency has ordered a hangar at the Timehri airport to be placed under the control of BK International.
The statement came hours after a report by online news, Demerara Waves, which said that the administration had ordered the hangar to be handed over to BK, but the current expansion at the airport had halted the transaction.
In recent weeks, there were reports linking Minister Harmon and Brian Tiwarie, BK’s owner. Tiwarie was appointed the Ministerial Advisor on Business Development for Harmon, but news of that appointment sparked condemnation from especially supporters of coalition government.
Tiwarie was seen as close to the previous administration.
Yesterday, Harmon in a statement from his office, said that no such instruction was given.
It was pointed out that the Board of Directors for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) come under the direct authority of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, as has always been the case.
Harmon called the report “wicked and malicious” and designed to “feed the frenzy about his connection to Mr. Brian Tiwarie”.
Harmon, according to the statement, was backed up in his arguments by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CJIAC, Ramesh Ghir, who told the Ministry of the Presidency that BK International Incorporated had, during the life of the previous Board of Directors, submitted a proposal for rental of the GA2000 hangar.
Ghir disclosed that though the board had favourably considered the proposal, during a meeting, no decision was communicated to Tiwarie or his company.
According to board papers, which the Ministry of the Presidency has seen, in September 2014, the Board of Directors of CJIAC approved the rental of the GA 2000 hangar for a period of six months to BK International Incorporated.
“However, the contract for this approval was never executed. Therefore, there is no agreement for BK International Incorporated to rent the GA 2000 Hangar.”
Ghir added that subsequently, with the change in Government and the appointment of a new Board of Directors, the proposal was once again considered but it has been since deferred.
“The new Board of Directors would have looked at the proposal… it was placed on hold because we have the expansion of that airport taking place and we realised that some of the operators had to be relocated… we would have had to find a temporary location for them to operate and the hangar is one of the considerations so that as we speak, it is actively being pursued,” Ghir said in the statement.
When asked directly, whether he had ever received any instruction from anyone at the Ministry regarding this matter, Ghir declared, “No, I have never had any such instruction from anybody. At no time was any instruction received from Ministry of the Presidency to transfer GA 2000 Hangar to BK International Incorporated.”
The Ministry said it is extremely concerned that “in the rush to publish sensational stories media outlets are not exercising due diligence, and this is irresponsible and can be perceived as malicious when it is not supported by fact”.
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