Thursday, October 18, 2012

Proper valuation for Freeport lands: Ganga Singh

Government Senate leader Ganga Singh responded Wednesday to a charge by Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi that the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) paid too much for parcel of land in Freeport, central Trinidad.

Singh told the Senator that he needs to check his facts. 

Al-Rawi stated on Tuesday that Government paid $175 million for 50 acres of land that had sold two years earlier for $5 million and that a professional valuation of the land put the value at $52 million. He stated that the Commissioner of Valuations put the value at $180 million.

In response Singh said Al Rawi made a "spurious allegation" meant to capture a newspaper headline.

He said 
HDC managing director Jerlean John received an offer for sale dated January 20, 2012 from Point Lisas Park Ltd and she requested a valuation by the Commissioner of Valuations. 

He quoted a letter by the Commissioner dated March 6 in which he said the valuation by the firm Al Rawi mentioned was "grossly understated given the current state of development and under the assumption that all the approvals have been had for residential use".

Singh quoted another letter from the Commissioner dated April 26 in which he stated that his valuation was based on current open market value and, in accordance with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors international guidelines. 

"His letter said $180 million was "a fair estimate of the current open-market value of the unencumbered freehold in the subject parcel of land with vacant possession" subject to a number of provisos which he went on to list.

Singh said the the estimate was for the "entire parcel of land" which included 20 hectares, playground, retention pond, nursery, school site and land reserved for community purposes. He told the PNM senator if he plans to attack senior public officials "you have to do better than that".

Singh also slammed Opposition Senator Fitzgerald Hinds and accused Hinds of "patent racism" with reference to hiring practices at the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB).

Singh reported that there were 70 per cent African, 25 per cent Indian and five per cent of mixed race at the bank.

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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