‘Double-whammy’ pay!

first_imgDear Editor,Nowrang Persaud’s letter on stipends for State Boards’ Chairmen and Directors that carried in your daily (July 13, 2016) is stimulating enough to be worthy of a comment. It must be appreciated that, all things being equal, a Government under normal circumstance will appoint individuals to sit on State Boards who have considerable competence, expertise and experience in a particular area of trade, profession or vocation and that their presence on a particular board will make a positive impact on such organisation by virtue of the said competence, expertise and experience. All these appointments carry non-executive status.Any individual who is so identified and appointed ought to see it as an honour to be of service to the State, rather than the State be of service to the appointee. This is what prompted the late President John F Kennedy to make that famous quote “Ask not what the country should do for you, but what you could do for your country”. Unfortunately, Mr Persaud’s advocacy to compensate State Board’s Chairmen and Directors by benchmarking with parliamentarians and “top echelons of Government and national, public and civic organisations” runs contrary to President Kennedy’s philosophy.Editor, if State Boards’ Chairmen and Directors are dissatisfied with the opportunities for “self-compensation and aggrandisements”, then the fittest and honourable thing to do is to refuse such appointments. In the current scheme of things, many of the current State Boards’ Chairmen and Directors hold substantive jobs with high salaries and perks. Mr Persaud needs to understand and appreciate that when these full-time, permanent job holders take leave from their respective organisations their pay and perks are not reduced for the time they spend at Board meetings. So why should they be paid stipends that are commensurate with “top echelons” job holders to attend Board meetings and still receive fulsome pay and benefits from their full-time jobs? It will simply be a ‘double-whammy’ pay! The appointment then becomes a profit centre.The case cited by Mr Persaud whereby a “Director on the Board of one of these operations was so appalled at the miserly stipend payable to him that he quickly sought an opportunity to serve the same outfit in virtually the same capacity”. Editor, this opportunity could not have materialised if corporate and ministerial heads had not facilitated it, and the pursuit of such opportunity by the individual could only have been influenced by greed for monetary aggrandisement, and not by a selfless service to the state.Finally, it’s an ominous disclosure by Mr Persaud that Board Members may be “tempted to do any form of wangling to meet obviously critical demands of the respective positions”, or rather to put it more bluntly, using his analogy, ‘to bring about financial accomplishment by employing scheming or underhand methods’. No wonder why many of our state boards reek of misappropriations and fiduciary irresponsibility; their thrust according to Mr Persaud is seemingly poised for “self-compensation and aggrandisements.”Yours faithfully,Dmithri Ramsunailast_img read more