|File: Finance Minister Larry Howai in parliament|
The minister wrote London on October 23, giving him seven days to send the documents to the ministry to review. However, London told reporters on Wednesday that Howai does not have the legal or constitutional right to ask for the information within any time frame. He added that Howai must wait.
When reporters asked the minister about the matter Howai stated that he would not respond to London through the media. And he stated, “I don’t think that it is the intention of Mr London not to provide the information. I think he recognises that he is using public funds and therefore it is important that he be as open and transparent with all parties as possible.”
Howai added that he is sure that the THA would write to the Ministry of Finance providing information about how soon the clarifications would be ready.The minister also spoke about the $20 billion that the government invested in bailing out Clico and British American. He said the cost of the bailout has increased the government’s total debt to GDP from 38 per cent to 47 per cent and that the government would try to recover as much of that as possible.
He said if the Government can recover the money from Clico or CL Financial, the country’s total debt would be reduced.
He also dismissed rumours that government is considering handing back Clico to its former chairman, Lawrence Duprey. “We are not at this time contemplating any discussions with Mr Duprey to take charge of the company," Howai said. "We would not rule out any options available to us, but at this stage the short answer to that is no."