Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mia: Cement case headed for CCJ


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Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has warned about another case being brought before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) against the Government of Barbados.

Pulling a document from her now famous red bag, the Barbados Labour Party leader revealed a joint action had been filed by Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) and its Barbados subsidiary, Arawak Cement Limited, who are claiming the creation of unfair competition by the incumbent Democratic Labour Party administration.

Mottley was speaking at Redman Village, St Thomas, her fourth stop on a whirlwind tour of political meetings earlier last night.

She claimed the filing to the CCJ was made by TCL last Friday, and surrounded the alleged removal of the 60 per cent tariff on cement imported into Barbados.

“This Government’s behaviour is coming to catch up with it again,” she told the enthusiastic crowd.

“This Government, through its behaviour in the last two years, has put at risk the Treasury again with the potential loss of money through damages by failing to act in accordance with the law,” Mottley claimed.

“The case is an application for special leave pursuant to Article 222 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and rule 10:4 of the CCJ’s original jurisdiction,” she revealed.

“They are saying we breached rules by unilaterally reducing the import duties on cement, the Common External Tariff, from 60 per cent to five percent two and a half years ago.”

She said the Government’s action involved reducing the tariff without going to the Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED) as is required by law.

She said any money paid out in this case could have been money better used to increase non-contributory pensions or even pay for garbage trucks.

“A company was given land at the (Bridgetown) Port to put down a cement bond. There was a case in court and they were told to stop. Another side was built, and a roof went on while they were supposed to have stopped building,” she added. (BA)



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