Moonilal: PM’s Ghana, India trip won’t yield a pound of yam, bottle of ghee

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

MP Oropouche East Roodal Moonilal – Photo by Jeff k Mayers

COMMENTING on the Prime Minister’s recent trip to Ghana and India, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal said he does not believe taxpayers who footed the bill of over $400,000 would get back even “one pound of yam or a bottle of ghee.”

From the platform of the United National Congress (UNC) cottage meeting and by-elections launch at Penal Secondary School on May 20, Moonilal said the trip was a waste of time.

He recalled Rowley speaking of the benefits his overseas trips usually bring to Trinidad and Tobago.

On this occasion, Moonilal said, “His luxurious spree took him, Rohan Sinanan (Works and Transport Minister who accompanied him) and their families across two continents.

“What did we get for that? Not a pound of yam or a bottle of ghee. Rowley was just gallivanting and loitering all over the world.

“While in India, not one representative from the Indian Government invited or met him.

“He met regional leaders and the children of a businessman. He went to a cricket game and a temple.

“We have both in Trinidad – he could have stayed home.”

He cast aspersions on Rowley’s announcement of plans to construct a Mumbai Indians cricket academy, owned by the Ambani family of India.

Rowley said a 30-acre parcel of land opposite Trincity Mall, along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, would be made available for the academy. He said an architect visited Trinidad and Tobago a few weeks ago for discussions on this project.

Moonilal said the land the PM referred to was already earmarked for a solar farm and for Pan Trinbago’s headquarters.

He said he was quite curious about this project, as Trinidad and Tobago already possessed the Brian Lara Cricket Academy at Tarouba, where not one course in cricket has been given to date.

Focusing on the government’s spending $1.2 billion on the Lara academy, which was initially budgeted at $275 million, Moonilal said what is more distressing is that tenders are now being invited for repairs to the tune of $80 million for that academy, which was opened a few years ago.

“That is the scandal we face. I have great respect for Mr Ambani, but I want to tell him: leave that deal right there.”