I read a letter in the Chronicle signed by “Imran Khan, Press Secretary to Prime Minister Moses V Nagamootoo” in which he takes Guyana Times to task for an alleged “constant harangue…directed towards Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo”. While he purports to respond to a letter published in the Times from one Tiana King-David, I would like to respond to his attempt to rebut the specific points made made by Times.
PM’s New $22M SUV
Imran Khan admits, “In the 2015 budget, the sum of GY$22m (US$110,000) was allocated for the purchase of the vehicle for use by the Prime Minister.” This exactly what Times stated. Since the suggested Mfg Selling Price for a 2015 LandCruiser was was US$80,000 it means that the Prime Minister’s vehicle had quite a number of options added.
Khan goes to great length to justify the purchase. First he claimed the PPP government had budgeted for an identical SUV but this was appropriated by the then Finance Minister. But if the PPP was so “wasteful” and “greedy” according to the APNU/AFC, how does following in their footsteps a justification of the Nagamootoo’s parsimony?
Khan claims rather than “20 Vehicles”, the OPM has “only 11”. One news report at the transition reported the PPP left 8 vehicles. At least this confirms the previous PM was not a spendthrift. It suggests also that even if the number 11 is correct, two other vehicles were purchased in addition to the famous $22M Landcruiser. Are these also premium Landcruisers? If only four of the eleven vehicles are used by the PM and his security detail, who are the seven staffers with vehicles? Imran Khan?
Khan also admits that the Pm’s residence is being rehabilitated, but does not mention that it cost $22M.
Khan claims, “The Prime Minister’s salary was increased only marginally…” What is the reality? Nagamootoo’s salary was increased by $2,000,000 from $1.5M to 1.7M monthly.. Two million dollars increase at 11% is “marginal”? What does he call the $5500 for 11% on $50,000 for the public servants?
Khan also tried to explain the “marginal” for his boss. It was supposed “to take it above that of the Attorney General to correct an anomaly which existed under the PPP government.
“To be exact the salary “anomaly” was introduced by Hoyte to induce his Chancellor Keith Massiah to become his Attorney General. The question is why would it bother Nagamootoo if the Attorney General had a larger salary than him?
The only answer is “ego”. And this is borne out by Imran Khan’s querulous complaint that because it is tax free, ” the Honourable Attorney General’s take home salary…is (still) greater than that of the the Prime Minister.