There are also administrative delays which can be caused in the payments. For instance, yesterday there was an issue which was raised here about us parliamentarians going for the budget seminar. The hoteliers whom we have summoned – a room which was costing USD120, when they heard that there is a seminar for parliamentarians, some of the rooms shot up to USD600 and we said why? That is what delayed and these are some of the practical things where you get some people greedy out there. You have discussed several things in the parliamentary Committees where there will be administrative issues to be sorted out and Government, by policy, cannot just dish out the money.
We are aware that there are delays which are there and some of the delays have been legacy issues which have to be solved. We try our level best, together with the Ministry of Finance, to make sure that whoever delivers is paid and no tender or demand for supplies should be done when the monies are not there. Some of the issues might have been legacy issues where people were used to just order even if the money was not there on the books. That causes delays and these are some of the areas which Government is addressing and the Ministry of Finance, together with all the ministries is addressing and when I put on my other hat, we have said to the ministries you must stick to corporate governance practice.
On those who have not been paid, I want to assure the august House that they will be paid and we thank the Hon. Member for having raised this issue to remind us. I thought I should explain the procedures we take but we are going to look into the matter because we do not want somebody to suffer when they have provided the resources and as Government we do not pay on time. This is a matter we will address together with our colleagues in the Ministry of Finance. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: I want to thank the Minister for his response. However, on a point of clarity, I would like it noted that the Minister of Finance told us that he paid immediately. He actually misled us as a House but I thank the Minister of Health for his clarity on the situation and also the comfort that he gives to the suppliers that they will be paid eventually for the goods that they have supplied.