Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister, said on Monday that some officials of the Ministry of Agriculture who were assigned to make payments to 835 farmers in North Windward failed to deliver.
Gonsalves told the parliament that everyone should have been paid on Monday.
“They changed the location, and more than that, they were unable to make payments. This is supposed to be a routine process. I can’t figure out how they could have dropped the ball. When I learned that this morning, I left promptly because the Minister of Agriculture needed to speak on the motion. The payments will be made tomorrow at Sandy Bay”.
“I called the Minister of Agriculture, the Director-General of Finance and Planning, the accountant general and the acting Commissioner of Police to ensure all arrangements for payments are made”.
Gonsalves regretted the fact that farmers had to turn out yesterday and not enough people were available to make the payment.
“It has come to my attention, completely false, that one or two public servants have claimed that the money has run out, all the money has been released, every penny. In fact, they walked back with money”.
Gonsalves said that when public servants are given a responsibility, they must carry it out to the satisfaction of the public.
The Prime Minister said that he had been informed that some farmers’ names had been removed from the list, and he has given the relevant authorities notice of this.
“I urge those farmers whose names are dropped from the list to contact the Ministry of Agriculture and ask for an explanation as to why their names are not on the list. It is a small number, but one person not listed legitimately is one person too many”, Gonsalves said.