THE Greater San Fernando Chamber of Commerce is pleased with the ministerial reassignments of San Fernando West MP Faris Al-Rawi and government senator Kazim Hosein, arising out a wider Cabinet reshuffle announced by the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday.
Overall, the chamber said the population will now have to wait and see whether all of the changes announced in the reshuffle would redound to the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago.
Chamber president Kiran Singh expressed these views on Friday.
Al-Rawi was reassigned from attorney general to become the new Rural Development and Local Government Minister. Hosein, Al-Rawi's immediate predecessor and a former San Fernando mayor, is now Agriculture Minister.
Government senator Clarence Rambharat, the former minister of agriculture, resigned. His resignation was announced by the OPM among the revocations and appointments that constituted the reshuffle.
With Al-Rawi no longer AG, Singh belived his new ministerial portfolio allows him greater opportunity to be on the ground and devote more time to San Fernando West.
"Of immediate concern would be the continuation of the mega projects that were started under him, vis-a-vis the San Fernando Waterfront Project, Skinner Park upgrade and the Family Court."
He added that Al-Rawi's legal acumen will be invaluable to the Rural Development and Local Government Ministry.
"His legal background will serve as an assets in the much-needed local government reform. We need the country's regional corporations to perform at optimum levels. Decentralisation of central government must be accelerated."
Al-Rawi's first major test in his new portfolio will arguably be local government elections, which are constitutionally due this year. The 14 local government corporations in Trinidad are evenly divided between the PNM and UNC.
[caption id="attachment_895958" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Kazim Hosein[/caption]
Singh welcomed Hosein's new responsibilities as Agriculture Minister.
This shift, he continued, "may be a signal to the population that this sector is still considered important to the economy."
Singh added that Hosein "is an experienced and senior member of the Cabinet."
Reshuffing of cabinets is solely the Prime Minister's prerogative.
"The Prime Minister is in the best position and has most insight into the performance of his Cabinet. He knows the strengths of each member and as such he assigns a portfolio best suited to each individual."
Singh added that the business community and the rest of the population will have to wait a while to see if any positive changes result from the reshuffle.
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