Disappearance of $250M from SLED up for investigation –Dharamlall
There will be an investigation into how monies were utilised by the former APNU+AFC Government under the Sustainable Livelihood Entrepreneurial Development (SLED) programme for which some $250 million remains unaccounted for.
This is according to Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Nigel Dharamlall who has accused the former Government of using the monies as a “slush fund”, particularly to gain political capital in its election campaign.
“When an audit of SLED is done many persons now on the Opposition side will face prosecution,” the Minister told the Committee of Supply during the consideration of the budget estimates on Wednesday.
Minister Dharamlall said there is no record to show how $250 million was spent last year.
“Investigation so far revealed that the paperwork for the $250M deposited at Haags Boosh,” he added.
The Minister reminded that several top officials of the former Government benefited from the fund as ge recalled the barbershop scandal involving former Director of Sport Christopher Jones who is now the Opposition Chief Whip.
Some $105 million has been set aside in the 2020 budget to be spent under SLED between October and December 2020.
Dharamlall said SLED had no system in place when the PPP took office but that one will be put in place for future disbursement of monies.
“Under the last administration there was no criteria for how monies are spent and that is why officials of the past government benefited,” he added.
He said the PPP will use the funds to focus on important aspects of community life in a manner that brings diversity to the regions.
“We will sue this money to pursue economic development across regions…the dynamics of every region will be taken into account.”