CDA to send home 68 workers

Six­ty-eight em­ploy­ees of the Ch­aguara­mas De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­i­ty (CDA) will be sent home in the com­ing weeks as the au­thor­i­ty seeks to re­duce its ex­pen­di­ture and tack­le its $88 mil­lion debt.

In a re­lease yes­ter­day, the au­thor­i­ty said the salaries of its cur­rent staff of 200 ac­counts for 72 per cent of its in­come—twice what it was in 2010.

 

In 2010, an­nu­al per­son­nel ex­pen­di­ture amount­ed to $8.5 mil­lion and an­nu­al in­come amount­ed to $26.7 mil­lion. Per­son­nel ex­pen­di­ture there­fore amount­ed to a mere 32 per cent of in­come.

Fur­ther, in 2010, CDA’s debt was $6.7 mil­lion and there was $16.9 mil­lion in sav­ings.

By 2016, the debt was $118 mil­lion and the or­gan­i­sa­tion had on­ly $68,000 in sav­ings.

In 2017, an­nu­al per­son­nel ex­pen­di­ture had risen to $26.7 mil­lion and an­nu­al in­come amount­ed to $34.7 mil­lion. Per­son­nel ex­pen­di­ture was there­fore as high as 77 per cent of the in­come earned for the year,” the au­thor­i­ty wrote.

Guardian Me­dia sent sev­er­al ques­tions to CDA chair­man Gupte Lutch­me­di­al yes­ter­day and al­though he re­spond­ed with an­oth­er press re­lease, he did not an­swer the ques­tions posed. Lutch­me­di­al did not re­spond at all when asked how much of the cur­rent wage bill is paid out to mem­bers of the board.

The CDA said it was un­able to cov­er its main­te­nance and util­i­ty ex­pens­es de­spite hav­ing col­lect­ed rental ar­rears for the ma­jor­i­ty of its er­rant ten­ants and in­creas­ing its in­come by en­gag­ing in new busi­ness­es.

Talks have al­ready start­ed with the re­spec­tive unions about the plans for “staff ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion”, the re­lease said.

The re­lease al­so out­lines the CDA’s debts, stat­ing since 2016, the au­thor­i­ty has been pay­ing re­cur­rent ex­pens­es in cash.

“Fur­ther, cred­i­tors are now owed ap­prox­i­mate­ly $88 Mil­lion and there are nu­mer­ous lit­i­ga­tion claims for re­cov­ery of debt dat­ing back to 2013.

The CDA had record­ed a debt of $118 mil­lion as at 2015,” the re­lease stat­ed.

Reporter: Sharlene Rampersad

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