Leading the debate from the opposition benches, People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Parliamentarian Priya Manickchand, told the National Assembly on Thursday that the Party was not against asset recovery and exposing corrupt politicians.
As the second speaker on a list of 18, Manickhand laid out the opposition’s position on the State Asset Recovery Bill, just after Attorney General Basil Williams moved the second reading.
The PPP MP said the opposition is in total agreement with the concept of asset recovery. She did, however, have some reservations particularly with the government’s push to pass what she believes, was a poorly drafted Bill that lacked consultation.
“The concept is excellent, it is needed and timely but it is the way it is being done,” she said.
The former PPP Minister told the Assembly that she believed the consultations held by the government were a sham since none of the recommendations were taken on board.
Manickchand also argued that the Bill undermines the authority of several Constitutional office holders and shows disregard for several laws.
She lamented that the Bill was poorly drafted and also questioned the means by which it seeks to appoint a Director and a Chief Executive Officer of for the State Asset Recovery Agency. Her contention is that the Agency seems political.
In fact, Manickchand believes that if the government was serious about addressing corruption it would have voted on a PPP Motion, calling for all MPs to declare their assets.
The opposition wants the Bill to be sent to a Special Parliamentary Select Committee where it can be further discussed.