Member of Parliament (MP) for the Opposition APNU+AFC, Amanza Walton-Desir opened the 2021 budget debates by making a false claim against Senior Minister within the Office of the President (OP) with responsibility, Dr. Ashni Singh.
Walton-Desir, who is an attorney-at-law accused the Minister of not acknowledging the efforts of his staff in preparing the 2021 national budget which came six months after the 2020 budget.
“It was disconcerting to see not a note of thank you was expressed by the Minister to the men and women who would have toiled endlessly at the Ministry of Finance to present this budget. Nowhere in his speech could I find a note of thanks,” the Opposition MP said.
However, Dr. Singh did in fact expressed appreciation to the staff at the Ministry of Finance while making his concluding remarks at the budget presentation on February 12.
“Mr. Speaker, I trust that I will be forgiven for saving the last word for my own team at the Ministry of Finance, who over the past few weeks made it eminently evident to me why on my return to the Ministry, I really did feel like I was returning home.
I thank them for the energy they exerted in preparing this budget. It wasn’t easy as you could imagine. They invested tremendous long hours. And I think all the members of this House will agree that they did a phenomenal job,” the Minister said before ending his five-hour-long speech.
The opposition MPs, which includes Walton-Desir, were absent during Dr. Singh’s Budget presentation.
Following the accusation, Government MP, Sanjeev Datadin pointed out to the National Assembly that the comment was far from the truth as the Minister did indeed express his appreciation to the Ministry’s staff.
Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, also chided Walton-Desir for the accusation, noting that the opposition has developed a behavior of consistently telling lies.