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… Contentious $4B expenditureAlliance For Change Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan yesterday made good on his promise to seek to have disciplinary action instituted against Housing Minister Irfaan Ali and Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh when he moved a motion to have the two government officials placed before the Committee of Privileges.The action stems from what Ramjattan said was the deliberate misleading of the National Assembly as it relates to a $4B expenditure that was debated in January this year and later found to be spent last year.Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan AliRamjattan told the House that in January of this year Irfaan Ali, Minister of Housing and Water, during consideration of a Financial Paper told the House in response to a question from the Alliance For Change’s Sheila Holder, that the provision of $4B “is ready to be spent for Housing Development.”This Ramjattan said was meant to understand that the monies were yet to be spent but subsequently in February it was realised that the monies had already been disbursed.Ramjattan told the Speaker of the House yesterday that when the Estimates of the 2010 Budget were being considered in February the Housing Minister, “evaded,Wholesale China NFL Jerseys, avoided and flagrantly refused to answer questions put to him concerning when exactly the $4B was spent, thereby failing to offer any credible clarification.Ramjattan in his motion called for the House to signal its unanimous disapproval of Ali’s misleading statement and asked that the matter be referred to the Privileges Committee in keeping with the Parliamentary Standing.He wanted by way of the motion to have Ali to be found in contempt of “this Honourable House in relation to the said statement and a determination as to the sanction that should be taken against Irfaan Ali for misleading this Honourable House.”Speaker of the House Ralph Ramkarran in his ruling told the members gathered that a prima facie case was found to be made out against the Housing Minister for him to be committed to the Committee of Privileges, which is akin to a trial.The Speaker did caution that his ruling did not mean that Ali was guilty of any of the allegations against him but simply that there was enough merit in the accusations to have him be asked to defend himself in that Committee of Privileges.Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh who was the target of a similar motion was spared the wrath as the Speaker said a prima facie case was not made out against him and as such that motion was dismissed.In that motion against Dr Singh, Ramjattan said that the Minister in a Financial Paper in January sought approval for the Supplementary Appropriations of a sum of $6.6B and in that document it was outlined that a sum of $4B was being sought as provision for housing development.Ramjattan was adamant in his charge that by seeking approval of the National Assembly of this sum of $4B on January 11, 2010, the Minister of Finance was representing to the National Assembly that the sum was to be spent on a date after the day when the National Assembly would have approved the expenditure.He again pointed out that when the Finance Minister presented the 2010 budget it was shown that the $4B asked for in January of this year was represented as spent in 2009.Ramjattan in his motion charged that there is a patent contradiction with regard to the representation of the Minister of Finance as it relates to the $4B expenditure,Wholesale Cheap Jerseys, and as such he should be placed before the Committee of Privileges.Ramjattan in an interview with this newspaper following the rulings said that he was not satisfied with the ruling with respect to the Finance Minister in that he still believes a case was made to have him be placed before the Committee of Privileges.Ramjattan is adamant that both Ministers deliberately misled the National Assembly.When asked about the worst case scenario as it relates to penalties that could be imposed against Ali, Ramjattan said that he could be removed from Parliament because of his actions, adding that in any other democracy, both Ministers would have been forced to resign.“It is quite clear that there has been a misleading of the House.”Ramjattan said that, “to lie in Parliament is fundamentally a breach of the conventions and privileges…you do not lie to Parliament and that is exactly what they did here.”He said that what the two Ministers have done was to blow asunder the confidence and credibility of any answers that would be coming from Ministers in the House.The AFC Chairman said that the approval of expenditure is in the hands of the entire National Assembly and not just in the hands of a Minister, emphasising that what Dr Singh and Minister Ali did was to “usurp Parliament’s power.”The Committee of Privileges is chaired by Speaker of the House Ralph Ramkarran.Government members o