Prof. Prasad stresses all spending for 2023 Girmit is accounted for while Chaudhry demands for accountability

Prof. Prasad stresses all spending for 2023 Girmit is accounted for while Chaudhry demands for accountability

By Rashika Kumar
Wednesday 15/05/2024
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad has stressed the grant agreement for Global Girmit Institute was vetted by the Solicitor General, signed by the Permanent Secretary and includes the conditions of the grant however the Fiji Labour Party has demanded an accountability on how the $500,000 allocated for the Girmit celebrations last year was spent.

Professor Prasad confirms the total expenditure for the 2023 Girmit celebrations was $380,308.76, and $255,308.76 of this was government funding while total sponsorship was $125,000.

While responding to a statement by FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry after Professor Prasad provided clarification on how the money for last year’s Girmit Day celebrations was spent, the Deputy Prime Minister says Chaudhry knows the process but wants to lie to the people of the country and adds that the government has given all the information.

He says the Permanent Secretary had insisted that unless they bring the registration certificate, the grants will not be given and has again stressed that all requirements were met by the Institute and Chaudhry is lying about the organisation.

When questioned if the Institute were re-registered 24 hours before the signing of the agreement as claimed by Chaudhry, the Deputy Prime Minister says the Permanent Secretary signed the agreement and all he and the Solicitor General required is that the organisation is registered.

He says whether it was registered 24 hours or 3 years before is not an issue but it was important for the Ministry that all requirements are met.

While responding to Chaudhry’s comments of nepotism and cronyism, Professor Prasad says this is gutter level immorality and is coming from a man who is a convicted criminal, had hired his own son in his office soon after he became Prime Minister and renovated his own house using government funds.

He says Chaudhry saying that he gave money to his wife who was a trustee of the Global Girmit Institute is like saying he gave money to his wife when the government gives grants to the University of the South Pacific as his wife holds a senior position there.

Professor Prasad says trustees do not hold the funds of the organisation and run it and Chaudhry knows this.

He adds Cahudhry is so shameless that he thinks people have forgotten what he did in the past and that is why he is living in political oblivion and will remain there. In a statement, Chaudhry says both Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and Professor Prasad assured the nation that the accounts would be made public.

439223122-812151554299718-1920260155050698158-n

Chaudhry says they are still waiting for the accounts and adds that in the interest of accountability and transparency, they want the Minister to immediately make public detailed audited accounts of how the money was spent and who were paid how much.

He says the Minister’s threat to take legal action does not bother them.

Chaudhry says the Prime Minister has already confirmed that Professor Prasad is under investigation by FICAC along with the Attorney General and a few others while the Registrar of Political Parties has also referred the Minister to FICAC for possible breaches of the Political Parties Act.

Chaudhry claims the Institute had been deregistered in February 2022 for failing to submit annual reports and financial statements since its registration in 2017 and Fiji’s laws do not provide for the re-registration of a charitable organisation once it is deregistered.

Chaudhry adds Professor Prasad’s self-righteous indignation that critics are dragging his wife into the controversy cuts no ice.

Westpac
FEATURE NEWS
Investment slow-paced, skills shortage worry, high cost of living, red tape and low economic growth a concern – Ariff Ali
As we await the announcement of the 2024/2025 National Budget, there are clear indications that a lot of work needs to be done as the Macroeconomic Co...
11 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Greater Good Foundation seeks food donations to feed stray animals
The Greater Good Foundation Fiji is calling for food donations to feed homeless and stray animals. They say every cent will go a long way, so feel ...
11 hours ago

Kuki excited to finally perform on Fiji Showcase stage next Friday
Fiji’s top singer/songwriter, Kuki says he is really excited to perform on the Vodafone External Stage at Fiji Showcase 2024. While speaking ...
11 hours ago

Koronivia Business Council raise concerns after temple break-in
Concerns have been raised by the Koronivia Business Council regrading the rise in criminal activities in the area following the break-in at the Shiv ...
11 hours ago

Work with the Govt to tackle the issue of drugs - Kamikamica
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Cooperatives and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica has urged the Lau Provincial Council to work with the ...
11 hours ago

We are preparing for decisive action should our demand not be met in the budget on Friday - FTU
The Fiji Teachers Union calls on the government to act now to prevent a future where students are left without teachers. In a statement, the Union ...
11 hours ago



fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
yb
IN DEPTH
RFNS Puamau submergence on Fulaga Reef
No timeline has been given on how long the salvage operations for the RFNS Puamau will take as the Fiji Navy has started the de-fuelling process in Fulaga in a bid to safely salvage the vessel from the reef.
7 days ago

Crisis within FijiFirst relating to the termination of 17 MPs who voted for salary increases
A crisis has erupted within the FijiFirst party relating to the termination of 17 members of parliament who supported the government's motion to ...
12 days ago

Pre-Budget 2024-2025
Pre Budget 2024-2025 budget recommendations and an insight of what people on the ground wish to see in the National Budget
14 days ago

TOP