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Bishop Juan Edghill says ERC Compromised as staff members not paid for month of May

Staff members of the ethnic relations commission have not been paid for the month of may and their future with the commission is uncertain as those budget cuts by the opposition begin to take real effect. And the minister within the ministry of finance Bishop Juan Edghill who served as the ERC chairman for 8 years before joining the PPP government said he believes that the independence of the commission has been compromised since some staff members after the budget cuts met with the leaders of the opposition parties in an effort to get the money back.

Questioned whether the independence of the commission was compromised when he decided to resign from office to campaign for the PPP and later become a government minister, Edghill said there is a difference.

The ERC’s 99 million dollar budget was reduced to just 1 dollar with the opposition saying it would be willing to pass a supplementary budget should the erc be properly constituted. Edghill has some issue with that especially following reports that the opposition leader wants to meet with the president on getting the commission properly constituted.

Edghill today said there is nothing that the finance ministry could do, with regards to the erc staffers since there is nothing in the budget for them. However when asked about staff members of the government information agency being paid although that agency was also reduced to a 1 dollar budget, the minister in the ministry of finance said he was not aware of that but noted that GINA works too as the governments advertising agency and so it would benefit from receiving a commission for placing government ads in the media. The bulk of those ads by the way goes to the state owned media.

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