UWI warns of Caroni land grab

THE now-defunct Caroni (1975) Limited includes lands the size of Tobago whose value has been under-stated and which now could fall prey to a land grab, warned a report on a seminar by some 50 academics of the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine. The warning came in a University Position Paper entitled: “A Framework for National Development: Caroni Transformation Process” dated July 2003. The executive summary of the report warned: “The current Caroni Transformation Process is about converting national assets into private assets. In the main it is serving the interest of those who wish to generate private capital from public wealth stocks; for this reason the current process is exploitative and fraught with inequity.”

The academics said: “The historical model is being excruciatingly exacted on Caroni lands. The current transformation clones the historical model.” The Report criticised areas of the current restructuring process which echoed those of the exploitative historical model. It said: “The enterprise is conceived to control land space. To control land space especially prime property near the port is to control the socio-economic agenda. Land is leased on gratuitous terms, 99 years for example, without publication of the terms of the lease or tenure. This leaves the process open to political and economic opportunism and speculation.”


"UWI warns of Caroni land grab"

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