You are here
Suruj: Indian Govt paid for PM and team visit
The Indian Government paid for the recent state visit of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her delegation of 11 other people, including seven government ministers. This was disclosed by Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan yesterday in response to questions from the media about concerns over the cost of the trip to India, made by a total of 150 people. Rambachan, one of the people who accompanied the Prime Minister, said: “It was a state visit at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “In a state visit, everything is paid for by the government of that country,” he added.
Rambachan said the Indian Government even paid for internal transport for the PM and her delegation who travelled to cities like New Delhi, Calcutta, Patna, Jaipur and Mumbai. He said the seven ministers who accompanied the Prime Minister all had meetings with potential Indian investors. “In all there were 200 meetings,” Rambachan said. He said representatives of state companies like the National Gas Company and Petrotrin also made the Indian trip and accompanied the Energy Minister. Their visits were paid for by the state companies they represented, the minister said.
Rambachan said he did not know how much money was spent by state agencies, but added: “Whether it is $10 million or $3 million, we have to spend money to attract foreign investment. “Governments do it all the time...Billions were spent over the years in tourism,” he said. Further, half of those who visited India with the PM were business people from the private sector and they paid their own way, Rambachan said. Rambachan said because of the boom in India, entrepreneurs were being encouraged by their prime minister to use T&T as a gateway to the Latin and South American markets. He said the T&T Government must make people feel T&T was ready for business and the Prime Minister had chosen to be that credible source.
“She can answer questions and conduct bilateral meetings on a one-on-one basis,” Rambachan said. “In 18 months in office, she has established herself as a global leader and catapulted T&T on the global stage. “The Prime Minister is in the best position to do that (seek foreign investments).” Rambachan said the People’s Partnership Government was very transparent and was the only one that had ever reported to Parliament before and after every trip. In a separate matter, he said the issue of Agriculture Minister Vasant Bharath’s new Porsche was a storm in a teacup and political mischief on the part of the Opposition. “If you buy a Prado, it’s $400,000...a Porsche is also $400,000,” he said. “Both are SUV-type vehicles and ministers need reliable vehicles.”
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.