Economist Marla Dukharan.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s statement yesterday, which painted a grim picture of this country’s economy, was nothing more than a “cheap distraction” to take away from the ongoing national outrage caused by the murder of Andrea Bharatt, economist Marla Dukharan said.

Dukharan commented yesterday on the situation in response to a question from Guardian Media seeking her view on Imbert’s report of serious economic challenges facing the country.

“Nothing the Minister of Finance said today even begins to address the long-standing, fundamental issues our country faces,” Dukharan stated.

“As far as I am concerned, economics only matters in so far as it speaks to social outcomes, and socially, T&T is an absolutely perilous state. Yet, nothing was said on this matter,” she said.

Dukharan said in her view to comment on Imbert’s statement would be discourteous to Bharatt.

“In my view, to comment on this statement is to disrespect Andrea Bharatt, to disregard the primacy of her murder and the culture of impunity that rewards criminals and terrorizes the rest of us in T&T, and to support the usual distraction agenda of this and successive Governments which are absolutely bereft of solutions,” Dukharan stated.

Dukharan added there are serious questions surrounding Bharatt’s murder and a possible link to the judiciary.

“For our Government to issue any statement at this time, which does not address these fundamental issues, is an insult, is a cheap attempt at distraction, and is ultimately an admission of failure,” she said.