By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams has revealed that the former People’s Progressive Party/Civic government failed to pay billions of dollars owed to two regional companies – Rudisa Beverages and Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL).
Williams made the disclosure during the Friday, June 26 sitting of the National Assembly, where he disclosed that he is unaware of the reasons behind the former government’s failure to pay its dues.
The Caribbean Court of Justices (CCJ) had ruled in favour of both companies in two separate court proceedings. In the rulings, the then government was ordered to pay the Rudisa Beverages GYD$1.2B and TCL close to GYD$57M.
Rudisa, a Suriname based company, produces and sells beverages in non-returnable containers. Caribbean International Distributors Inc. (CIDI) had alleged that the imposition by Guyana in 1995, of an environmental levy or tax of $10 on all imported non-returnable beverage containers imported into Guyana, was discriminatory and amounted to a violation of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC) passed into Guyana law in 2006.
TCL claimed losses due to the Guyana government’s unilateral waiver of a 15% Common External Tariff (CET) on cement imports, be dealt with in accordance with Article 222 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and Part 10 of the Caribbean Court of Justice (Original Jurisdiction) Rules of 2006.
The Attorney General stated that he is unaware when it is likely that these debts will be settled. In the interim both companies continue to operate in Guyana.