By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall is refuting claims made by Attorney General Basil Williams that he [Nandlall] is accountable for some $1.2B that was approved by Cabinet as payment to Rudisa Beverages after the company won a case against the Guyana Government at the Caribbean Court of Justice.
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.
The then government was ordered to pay the Rudisa Beverages GYD$1.2 billion but did not do so although Cabinet approved the money. But when contacted on Monday, June 29, Nandlall pointed out that the Attorney General will soon be au fait with the amount of time between Cabinet approvals and the money being disbursed, adding that parliamentary oversight would have also been required for the sums to be released from the consolidated fund.
“As Mr Williams spends longer in government he will become familiar with the distance between cabinet approval and actual disbursement of funds…In this instance, my recollection is at the time when Cabinet granted the approval based upon a memo I took to Cabinet, parliament went into recess, prorogation and then dissolution…that sum of money cannot be approved without Parliament’s permission….Mr Williams has to know that,” said the Former Attorney General.
He indicated that he is amazed by Williams’ claim of “astonishment on the issue.”