Monday 26 October, 2020

Kamla: Gov't must account for $30M grants to religious bodies

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on the Government to account for the $30 million allocated for religious bodies.

Grants totaling $10 million per month for three months, May, June and July will be given to the religious bodies in proportion to the size of their congregations for them to distribute food to the poor and needy.

On Saturday, Social Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis announced that 20 cheques have been prepared for distribution to religious organisations across the country, out of the first $10 million allocated to them by Government to provide food support to those in need.

The Minister said she has spoken to the leaders of several major religious organisations outlining the requirements.

However, Persad-Bissessar criticised the decision, claiming that social relief grants have not been reaching those in need.

"Small and medium businesses are in serious danger of shutting down, while many citizens are now even facing homelessness. This week, also, many desperate citizens complained yet again that the Government’s much touted $400 million in social relief grants had still not reached them."

The Opposition Leader called on the Government to clarify a number of questions, including how it arrived at the 'strange' and 'unprecedented decision'.

She also wants to know under what Public Service or other legal regulations was it authorised.

Persad-Bissessar said the Government must also state the names and addresses of the selected organisations to determine whether they are real and credible.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: