Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 16th 2014 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Capitalize on your strengths
©2014 EYGM Limited. All rights reserved.
Excellent career opportunities for
dynamic Audit Experienced Staff
and Seniors in Trinidad
Audit Experienced Staff
P.O Box 158, 5/7 Sweet Briar Road, Port of Spain
www.ey.com/careers and submitting an online application
www.caribbeanjobs.com and submitting an online application
September 26, 2014
EY is committed to diversity and equity.
18 employees. Not one, Mr Speaker, was qualified in
or had experience in agriculture. This company was
supposed to provide high-level technical services to
private farmers using Caroni (1975) Limited s lands for
cultivation. We had, Mr Speaker, IT professionals dealing
with farmers contracts, making site visits and conducting
meetings and negotiations with farmers.
Mr Speaker in February 2013, Cabinet approved a
one-off financial grant of $4 million to Caroni (1975)
Limited to "effect the required land preparation works
on 1800 acres of lands carded for cultivation in Phases
1 and 2 of the Caroni Green initiative."
Mr Speaker, on December 3, 2013, Caroni (1975) Lim-
ited s chairman e-mailed the Minister of Finance pointing
out that Caroni had spent $7 million on Caroni Green,
$3 million more than Cabinet had approved. And on
that same day Mr Speaker, the Minister responds by
e-mail cautioning that the $4 million approved by Cab-
inet should not be exceeded.
As it turns out Mr Speaker, by May 2014, Caroni
Green had incurred expenditure of more than $11 million,
without having met the objectives of Cabinet as set
out in that Cabinet minute of February 2013.
In the face of that Ernst and Young report Mr Speaker,
and in the face of all that the Minister of Finance knows
from beginning to end about Caroni (1975) Limited and
Caroni Green Limited, on Monday September 1st. 2014
all employees of Caroni Green received termination let-
And Mr Speaker, contrary to what is stated in the
budget statement 2015 regarding Caroni Green, that
has been an expensive experiment by this Government
that has now cost taxpayers over $30 million without
bringing a single benefit to the farmers of this coun-
try.Mr Speaker, we have noted with interest and to our
utter amazement that the Government four years after
condemnation is now embracing the much maligned
commercial farm programme initiated under the PNM.
The Minister of Finance and his government are now
proposing that state agricultural leases being distributed
for food production can now be freely traded.
What is seemingly contemplated is that those 8,000
plus two acre parcels of land can now be redirected
away from agriculture and be traded on the open real
estate market with capital gains---cash going directly
to the lease holder (lessee).
Can the Minister of Finance say what will happen
to the clause in the Agricultural lease, which provides
for reversion of the land to the State at the expiration
of the lease term? When was this new policy hatched?
How long will it take for these lands to be moved out
of agricultural production for the benefit and real estate
enrichment of the fortunate few?
International Relations, Diplomacy, International
Finance & Trade
Mr Speaker, before the UNC-led Admin-
istration assumed office, this country was well
on its way to being established as the Diplo-
matic Capital of the Region. It was also well
on its way towards the operationalisation of
the Trinidad and Tobago International Financial
Centre (TTIFC) to provide financial services
to the region. Arrangements were being ramped
up to facilitate these two initiatives.
What did this Government do Mr Speaker
... Very much like the very poor judgement
and short sightedness displayed towards the
integrated national security apparatus estab-
lished by the previous administration and the
laying to waste of the valuable Government
Campus Plaza, this Government dismantled
or showed very little interest in international
relations and the international financial infra-
structure. This Government has been devoid
of any developmental vision and did not
understand the PNM thrust into the inter-
national arena---international relations, inter-
national finance and trade.
Mr Speaker the International Financial Cen-
tre deemed "ill-conceived" by the former
Finance Minister and shelved by the UNC-
led Administration in 2010, is seemingly being
embraced now that the new Minister of
Finance has twice referenced the International
Financial Centre and its accompanying foreign
Caroni Green bore no fruit for citizens
Continues on Page A13
From Page A11
Links Archive September 15th 2014 September 17th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page