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LIME bill figure posted on Internet is wrong – PM

LIME bill figure posted on Internet is wrong – PM

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The figures published on social network Facebook concerning the amount of money owed by the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines to telecommunications provider LIME are wrong.{{more}}

So says Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, yesterday Monday, at a press conference in the Cabinet Room, where he denied that the figure of more than $2.6 million posted on Facebook and circulated on smartphones, reflects accuratel the, amount that caused phone service to a number of government institutions to be disconnected last week.

The Prime Minister said that apart from the abuse and misuse of telephones in government institutions, as well as mismanagement by Heads of Departments and Permanent Secretaries of some ministries, there is a serious issue of reconciliation.

“Cable & Wireless also have to get their house in order and don’t send a bill for $2.6 million, when the amount would be below 1.1…. I am not allowing the Ministry of Finance to authorize the payments of bills which are inflated; which are wrong; and the sum which has been posted on the Internet… is wrong.

“LIME is sending bills to the wrong people about things which are not yet even due. LIME just got it wrong…. So we are not paying bills which are not properly reconciled.”

He gave the example of the figure stated in the spreadsheet prepared by LIME, that showed the Ministry of Education’s amount at $849,898.58.

He said that upon request, the Permanent Secretary in that ministry wrote to him, pointing out that the actual figure may be $133,236.13 or less, and that some amounts attributed to that ministry, should actually be shouldered by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission and not the Ministry of Education.

Dr Gonsalves also commented on the fact that when the list was circulated over the weekend, the amount owed by the Office of the Leader of the Opposition was not disclosed, although it was included on the original list.

“I just want to show you how people are not interested in the truth. I am interested in the truth… I am giving you everything unvarnished.”

According to the Prime Minister, the amount owed by Leader of the Opposition should not have been on the list, since the government no longer pays the expenses of that Office; but instead gives the money in advance on a quarterly basis.

He said that the opposition also wanted to create the impression that they had received the list from an unknown source, when in fact, the same list sent to the office of the Opposition Leader, was circulated to all other departments, accompanied by a letter asking for verification of the relevant balance, from the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

“Let them go with their propaganda, and then you will make up your mind in the future… whether you could ever take these men’s word for anything, when it comes to public policy.

“All of us who are politicians, we will from time to time, put the best quote, unquote spin on the facts, but I always tell you, I bring the facts to you. I will give you an explanation as to what has transpired; I will give you my view, but to have an informed opinion, you must first have the facts.”

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