Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
….as the REO hops out
By Svetlana Marshall
An extraordinary meeting intended to discuss the proposed 2022 Budget for the Region 4 Regional Democratic Council (RDC) was cancelled after the Regional Executive Officer (REO) and Clerk of Council, Donald Gajraj indicated that he is in no position to attend.
This is according to the Region 4 Regional Chairman, Daniel Seeram. Seeram, who earlier this week accused the REO of bypassing the Council in the preparation of the proposed 2022 Budget.
The extraordinary meeting was scheduled for 10:00hrs on Friday, September 10, 2021, however, according to Seeram, thought receiving an invitation to the meeting on September 6, the Clerk of Council cancelled at the last minute.
“At the eleventh hour- on Thursday 8th September at 4:27pm- Mr Gajraj informed the Office of the Regional Chairman that the extraordinary meeting of the council would not be possible due to the unavailability of a venue. This is preposterous, ridiculous and wicked. It is a direct attempt by Mr. Gajraj to commandeer the Regional Democratic Council budget,” the Regional Chairman said.
Seeram said the RDC will not allow a subordinate officer of the Council, a creature of the council, to function outside of the council’s guidance.
“The Council will not support authoritarianism in any way or form. A final call is therefore issued to the Clerk of Council who also holds the position of Regional Executive officer and Accounting Officer of Region #4 to correct his error and facilitate the necessary procedures which will ensure that Budget 2022 reflect the will of the people of Region #4,” the Regional Chairman urged.
Earlier in the week, he disclosed that the proposed Regional Budget for 2022 was prepared in the absence of the duly elected officials of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).
Seeram said though the Regional Administration had long commenced the budget preparation, it was not until September 2, 2021 that his Office was emailed a national budget circular, which stated that the proposed Regional Budget 2022 ought to be submitted on September 6, 2021 to the Ministry of Finance.
“The RDC condemns the recent action of the REO and wishes to notify all and sundry that the submission of the proposed budget for Region No.4 is not a reflection of the will of the people of Region No.4,” Seeram told reporters.
He said the Council has urged that immediate attention be given to the issue and that the necessary corrective actions begin forthwith.
Seeram has written President Irfaan Ali; Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall; Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh on the matter with the hope that there would be a solution but to date, there has been no response.