300 accounts opened by PPP were in Consolidated Fund, open to audit – Jagdeo

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has shot back at the governing coalition for attempting to prop up its defence for placing the US$18 million oil bonus in a secret account by claiming the PPP opened 300 accounts during its time in office.

While not denying that the PPP administration opened the accounts, Jagdeo Thursday said “the monies were already in the consolidated fund” and hence was open to audits by the Auditor General.

He said the accounts were opened “for transactional purposes” and not to surreptitiously park funds and keep it away from the Consolidated Fund, as he claimed was the case with the oil bonus.

The Opposition Leader wondered there were other accounts opened by the government.

On Friday, April 13, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said the signing bonus was invested in US and Canadian bonds and had garnered an interest of US$36,169.

Jagdeo reasoned that the money would have still earned an interest if it was paid into the Consolidated Fund as it would have added to the country’s reserves, which are invested by the Central Bank “every single day.”

Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has sought an order of the High Court for the Finance Minister to deposit the bonus into the Consolidated Fund.

Nandlall, in his legal challenge, said the deposit of the signing bonus into a private bank account was contrary to, and in violation of, the Constitution and the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act.

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