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Dr. Nanda Gopaul, Permanent Secretary of the Office of the President (OP), has slammed Alliance For Change (AFC) Presidential Candidate, Khemraj Ramjattan, on statements he made recently over the rights to pension for former First Lady, Varshnie Jagdeo.Last week, amidst controversy over the seemingly large pension that President Bharrat Jagdeo will be receiving after leaving office, OP had released a list of former First Ladies and their benefits. It did not include the ex-wife of President Bharrat Jagdeo, who has now reverted to her maiden name- Varshnie Singh.OP’s Dr. Nanda GopaulYesterday, OP effectively ruled out the possibility of Singh receiving any benefits.“Mr. Ramjattan got it all wrong…it is not for a wife of a President or First Lady… had he read the Act, he would have seen that a widow’s pension is paid only to that widow on the death of her husband,Cheap Jerseys,” Dr. Gopaul said.The Permanent Secretary also presented copies of the correspondence sent to Kaieteur News detailing the size of the pension sum given to former Presidents Arthur Chung, Desmond Hoyte and their widows and Mrs. Janet Jagan.Copies of the President Hoyte Pension Act 2009, which makes provision for enhanced pension to the widow of the late President from the date when the widow’s pension was first payable, were also presented.“Widow’s pension is payable and it is calculated at 50 percent of the President’s pension,” the OP official insisted in a government statement yesterday.The last pension paid to former President Chung was in June 2008. He received $1,085,427 and his widow received $542,714 up to August 2009. Up to November 2010,NFL Jerseys China, Mrs. Hoyte received $543,Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic,543.According to Gopaul,Wholesale Jerseys Outlet, other benefits and entitlements given to the former First Ladies’ included a driver, medical and utility expenses and duty free concessions.The PS pointed to the fact that the President Hoyte Pension Act No. 8 of 2009 was passed with the full knowledge of the opposition who were cognizant of the sum paid to former Presidents.The constitution was amended to make pension benefits a right.“There wasn’t any hue and cry then. I can’t understand why there is a hue and cry if another President demits office and will benefit from this act,” Dr Gopaul said.Reference was made to provisions in the old Pension Act under Chapter 27:11, where a Head of State got a pension that was 16 percent higher than the Chancellor of the Judiciary, and the new act where the salary of the Chancellor of the Judiciary would determine that of the President and the Attorney General.The official felt that the opposition is seeking to create the impression that the act was designed for President Jagdeo and not the holder of the position of President of Guyana.“The Act was made applicable to all the persons who held the position. President Hoyte, President Arthur Chung… and President Janet Jagan,Cheap Basketball Jerseys,” Dr Gopaul said.Dr. Gopaul said that it is in bad taste to express concern over the benefits for someone who has given dedicated service to Guyana and unacceptable for someone hoping to be president to act like a “boxer” or “street fighter.”Over the weekend, Ramjattan argued that Singh is entitled to a pension as is the case with the widows– Doreen Chung, Joyce Hoyte and Janet Jagan.“If this is the disdain with which Jagdeo and Nanda Gopaul of the Office of the President would treat Varshnie, how would they treat the ordinary Guyanese woman?”
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