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Government “not aware” of S.I. to sign off on TNC deal

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Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2021. 9:10 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) has said that the agreement between the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Government of Belize made last October will be made operative when the Minister of Finance, Prime Minister John Briceno, signs off on a statutory instrument to waive stamp duty and land tax on the multi-million acre property it acquired last year.

But as to whether the agreement signed off by Hugo Patt between administrations and developed by the law firm of Barrow and Williams is operative and needs no further arrangement, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Christopher Coye, punted the question to the Government’s legal team.

Coye says all the evidence they have of the deal is the agreement developed by Barrow and Williams firm and signed off on by Patt.

When we pressed him further about the statutory instrument, he said, “are they saying that they are trying to squeeze out of a commitment they made because it hasn’t been completed yet?” he added that he is not aware of such an S.I. and in his case, he is not authorized to sign such documents.

 

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