Thursday, August 30, 2012

AFC pros and cons!!

Ramjattan & Cathy Hughes

Back in February when the budget was being presented, you’d remember the AFC and the APNU came out swinging against the government’s request for funds to prepare the land for the Speciality Hospital. Former President Bharat Jagdeo had arranged for concessionary financing from India for the facility, which was to open up a new revenue stream for the country: medical tourism. The AFC and the APNU refused to approve the funds.
In an article then, Ralph Ramkarran (recently touted by the AFC as a rock of integrity) suggested the real reason for the AFC’s and the APNU’s rebuff of the funding request. He referred to PNC’s executive member Hamilton Green’s accusation that the government was following through with the old PPP’s design to “colonise” Guyana with Indians from India!! The Speciality Hospital was going to be staffed by doctors from India, wasn’t it? So what if we’re not exactly bursting at the seams with specialist doctors!
Maybe we can understand APNU/PNC, but you may very well ask, why would AFC support this patently racist bilge from Hamilton Green? Aha!! Remember it was the same time AFC’s Ramjattan and Nagamootoo had run down to Linden telling the people the PPP was “spiteful” and “racist”?
The AFC was stung by its loss of votes at Linden and was desperately trying to ‘prove’ its ‘multi-racial’ credentials. So what if the country could explode in riots and arson – as it soon did? It’s the votes, baby! It’s the votes! Ramjattan then had the hospital project hauled over the coals in Parliament and promised more down the line.
But look at Ramjattan’s hypocrisy today on the same hospital. Fighting off the opposition’s vicious campaign against the hospital, the government persevered and went ahead to the bidding stage. One Indian company – Surendra – won over another Indian company – Fedders Lloyd – because the former secured its bid bond from an Indian bank unlike the latter. This bond source requirement is the norm in cases where concessional loans are secured from bilateral arrangements.
But lo and behold!! Ramjattan, who argued for an extended vacation while tooling around in his duty-free SUV and drawing his parliamentary salary, announces he’s the lawyer for Fedders Lloyd – one of the putative ‘colonisers’! Like we asked: can you imagine the fee he’s drawing? He filed an objection to the award of the contract to the Indian authorities. So what if the hospital will be further delayed?

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