No need for BK Tiwari’s advice; Business Minister never asked for help- President Granger

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 March 2016, 14:31 by Denis Chabrol

President David Granger says he personally revoked the appointment of Brian “BK” Tiwari as ministerial advisor on business development and strongly suggested that he was recruited unilaterally.

“Mr. Tiwari is not an appointee of the government. He is not performing any function and that is why the position was rescinded,” he said.

Granger said the Guyana government has no use for Tiwari’s services as a business advisor. “He is not required to provide any business functions. They have a Minister of Business and as far as I am concerned that minister is quite capable, quite competent and he has not asked me for any assistance  and I personally rescinded Mr. Tiwar’s appointment,” the President said on his weekly television programme, Public Interest’ scheduled for broadcast this weekend.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin and Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo have already said that they had only learned of Tiwari’s appointment and its revocation through the media.

Tiwari was appointed on January 29, 2016 under the hand and seal of Minister of State, Joseph Harmon but the decision only became public one week ago.

Harmon refused to field questions on the controversy earlier Thursday (March 31, 2016) but promised to hold a news conference on Friday to deal exclusively with the Tiwari-gate.

The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) has for years questioned the quality of work by Tiwari’s BK International and whether he had awarded favours by the then People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) administration despite repeated claims of shortcomings.

Turning his attention to Harmon’s visit to China, the President stopped short of suggesting that Tiwari was not an official member of that delegation. The Guyanese leader said “as far as I know” Harmon was accompanied by an official of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) “to deal with government business” concerning the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T).

The previous People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) administration sold Guyana’s 20 percent stake in GT&T to a Chinese company for US$30 million.

Tiwari, widely regarded as a very close associate of the PPPC’s Bharrat Jagdeo and team, almost immediately ingratiated himself with the APNU+AFC coalition-led administration by assisting with clean-up exercises, rehabilitation of the Independence Arch on Brickdam and more recently the construction of D’Urban Park.

Tiwari has also put at the disposal of the Guyana Defence Force his growing fleet of aircraft.