Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Opposition senator says gov't overpaid for lands at Freeport

Faris Al-Rawi - Express photo
Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi told the Senate Tuesday the government of Trinidad & Tobago bought 50 acres of land this year for $175 million although a reputable valuator had assessed the property at $52 million.

Speaking in the budget debate the Al-Rawi said two years ago the same parcel of land at Freeport in central Trinidad was sold for $5 million.

The Senator quoted the Cabinet minute of June 6, 2012, which approved the $175 million purchase. 

Al-Rawi said in November 2011 the firm, Linden Scott and Associates, gave the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) a valuation of $52 million, excluding stamp duty, legal fees and other associated costs for the land deal.

However he said in a letter dated April, 26, 2012, the Commissioner of Valuation advised that "$180 million was a fair estimate of the current open market value for the unencumbered freehold interest".

Al-Rawi disagreed with that estimate. He said if the developmental costs and other costs are added the value of the land cannot be more than $115 million. "The market is soft, the construction sector is going down, the review of the economy says that and yet this Government is going to buy land for $180 million," he said.

Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal has stated in the House of Representatives that the Cabinet had taken into consideration that the land was fully developed with roads, drainage, sewage treatment plant, water and electricity.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai