Kamla aims at Imbert

Op­po­si­tion Leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar has ques­tioned whether or not Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert per­son­al­ly ben­e­fit­ted from tax ex­emp­tions on a 55-mil­lion-dol­lar hous­ing project re­sult­ing from a bill he passed.

At the Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress Mon­day Night Fo­rum in St He­le­na, Per­sad-Bisses­sar said Min­is­ter Im­bert and his wife Suzanne Williams Im­bert be­came the di­rec­tors of a com­pa­ny called Bel­grave Prop­er­ties Lim­it­ed in 2012, which owned prop­er­ties at 61, 63 and 65 Pic­ton Street, Port-of-Spain.

 

She said in 2016 Min­is­ter Im­bert brought a bill to Par­lia­ment which would ex­empt mul­ti-fam­i­ly dwelling units from tax­es up to De­cem­ber 2025.

She added that the bill al­so ex­empts the own­ers from pay­ing tax­es on gains and prof­its from the ini­tial sale of such units if the con­struc­tion start­ed af­ter Ju­ly 2016.

The Op­po­si­tion Leader said that Min­is­ter Im­bert has since com­menced con­struc­tion of lux­u­ry apart­ments called AL­LO­RA when sold would amount to 55 mil­lion dol­lars.

Per­sad-Bisses­sar then de­mand­ed that Min­is­ter Im­bert say when the con­struc­tion of the AL­LO­RA apart­ments start­ed and if it com­menced af­ter 2016, whether or not he de­clared his in­ter­est and re­cused him­self when this bill was be­ing draft­ed by the Cab­i­net or when it came to Par­lia­ment.

“This Min­is­ter sat in the house, pi­lot­ed the bill, closed the de­bate and vot­ed on the bill. Him­self to him­self, I am ask­ing when did the con­struc­tion be­gin.”

She said she is wait­ing pa­tient­ly for the an­swers from Min­is­ter Im­bert as this may al­so be a mat­ter for the In­tegri­ty Com­mis­sion to look in­to.

Reporter: Chester Sambrano

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