Friday, June 14, 2024
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Prasad is lying to the nation: Chaudhry

The Fiji Labour Party has accused the Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad of lying to the nation by saying that his wife used to be a trustee of the Global Girmit Institute (GGI) many years ago.

The Minister for Finance said this in response to the controversy over the allocation of $200,000 to the defunct and discredited organisation of which his wife and a political ally, Ganesh Chand, were trustees at the time.

FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said “She was certainly one of the trustees of the GGI last year in February when it applied for re-registration along with Ganesh Chand and Hirdesh Sharma.

Chaudhry said they have documentation to prove this.

The former Prime Minister said interestingly, a search at the Registrar’s office shows the file on the GGI is now classified as “Protected”.

He said it is no longer accessible to the public and that the Registrar’s approval is required to access it.

He questioned how the Registrar justified this. Is he protecting the Finance Minister? Or is the file holding State secrets?

Chaudhry claimed that the Solicitor-General is a party to an unlawful act as he approved the grant to GGI – all they required was that the organisation is registered.

“This makes the Solicitor General party to an unlawful act. He should have carried out due diligence on the organisation before allowing such a large sum of public money to be entrusted to it.”

The former Prime Minister added that particularly as the GGI was de-registered, thus discredited, for failing to provide audited financial accounts. He also failed in his fiduciary duty to find out how the GGI managed to obtain re-registration in breach of our laws.

“No amount of mudslinging and counter-accusations by Biman Prasad will absolve him of the charge of nepotism and cronyism.

“The requirements of accountability and transparency demand that he provide audited accounts for the $500,000 allocated for the 2023 celebrations. He must provide a detailed breakdown of all categories of expenses he has listed. A generalised list is not acceptable, ”Chaudhry said.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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