Wednesday, October 10, 2012

THA did not have to buy land from Rahael family: Baker

Delmon Baker: "...they gave the land to their friends in the PNM."
The Minister for Tobago Affairs told Parliament Tuesday the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) breached Section 28 of the THA Act when it awarded a build-own-lease-transfer (BOLT) arrangement to the family of former PNM minister John Rahael.
Delmon Baker made the statement during the Budget debate as he spoke about a deal in which the THA bought three acres of land from the Rahael family $12 million and then leased the land at Shirvan Road to the same family for 199 years at the rate of $10 a year.

“Section 28 of the THA Act requires that the Assembly shall be subject to the Central Tenders Board...They breached that Section when they gave the land to their friends in the PNM," baker said. He said there is no evidence that there was open tendering. And he asked the THA to explain why it chose to do business with that company, which has clear links to the PNM.

Baker added that there was no need to buy the land since the THA already owns 40 per cent of twelve thousand acres of land in the island.

Baker also took the THA to task for refusing $800 million in business development funds that had been approved to be spent in Castara, Parlatuvier and Speyside, which are regarded as under-developed communities.

“This Tobago administration rejected the money because they would not have had the credit for the transfer...They rejected the people’s right to start new business,” Baker declared.

He said THA Chief Secretary Orville London "bluntly refused a major capital investment for the building of roads, refused a proposal for Tobago Carnival, refused $800 million in funding for the people and they dare say the allocation is not correct?” 

He suggested that the THA is hypocritical because after refusing the money it is now complaining that it did not get adequate funds in the new budget.

The 2013 allocation for the THA for 2013 is $2.356 billion of which $2.006 billion would be for recurrent expenditure and $350 million for capital expenditure. Tobago will also receive an additional $874.9 million under the various other Heads of Expenditure. 

In the 2012 Budget the total budgetary allocation stated for the THA was $2.199 billion, of which $1.861 billion was for recurrent expenditure and $319 million for capital expenditure.

Baker said, “Tobago gets more than is mandated by the THA Act under this administration,” he said.

No comments:

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