President of the Grenada Trades Unions Council (GTUC) Senator Andre Lewis has taken issue with the exclusion of a representative from the trade union movement on the reconstituted investment committee of the state-owned National Insurance Scheme by the 9-month old Dickon Mitchell-led Congress administration in St. George’s.
According to Sen. Lewis, “this is the first time since the formation of the NIS back in 1983 that this has happened” that a Labour Representative was not selected to serve on the NIS Investment committee.
He addressed the issue on The Bubb Report with Dr. Kellon Bubb.
The GTUC boss called on Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, who is the line minister for the NIS, to properly constitute the NIS Investment Committee.
He cited the importance of the Investment Committee, which is mandated by the NIS Act to give general or specific directions to the Director subject to the concurrency of the Board of Directors on the investment of monies in the fund, which are surplus to current needs.
Under the Act, the Director can also give any information necessary for the proper discharge of the functions of the Investment Committee.
“The investment committee is extremely important…it’s the committee that would vet any investment that the NIS is looking to go into, and in our view, the Labour Movement and the private sector (have) played a critical role in keeping the NIS afloat and preventing it from going into investments that may have resulted in further problems for the NIS,” said Sen. Lewis.
“We have written to the Minister, we have been trying to hold meetings, and for some reason this matter is not being addressed,” he added.
Sen. Lewis used the opportunity to bring the issue to the attention of the general public and is optimistic that “through this medium we would receive a letter from the government asking us for a nominee because this committee was reconstituted without the input of the TUC.”