Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Govt drops appeal

Deyalsingh Caroni Ltd ruling

THE People's Partnership administration has withdrawn the appeal of the 2004 judgment of Justice Lennox Deyalsingh delivered in favour of former Caroni (1975) Ltd workers.

The appeal, filed by the former People's National Movement administration, sought to overturn Justice Deyalsingh's ruling that, among other reliefs, the former workers were entitled to land leases.

Agriculture Minister Vasant Bharath made the disclosure on Sunday at the annual Christmas Family Day and Awards Recognition function at the Namdevco Wholesale Farmers' Market at Macoya.

Last week former prime minister Basdeo Panday wrote to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan asking that the State withdraw the appeal.

Bharath was yesterday asked to review the land distribution programme.

"Government must aid the ex-worker and create an enabling environment to heal the wounds caused by the previous administration," research and education officer of the National Foodcrop Farmers Association,

Norris Deonarine, said in an interview yesterday.

Justice Deyalsingh had decided in favour of the former Caroni workers, ordering the PNM government to distribute leases before June 30, 2006.

The PNM administration filed an appeal and Justice Deyalsingh's order was stayed pending the hearing of the appeal.

In a letter to the AG, and on behalf of the ex-workers, Panday said the appeal was made by the PNM government in order to frustrate the workers.

He said that government failed to honour a Voluntary Separation of Employment agreement given to workers as an inducement for the acceptance of VSEP.

"Workers were told that they would be given leases to lands belonging to Caroni for agricultural and residential purposes within a reasonable time," Panday stated.

So far, 4,000 two-acre agricultural leases have been prepared and only 100 leases were ready in the residential lots distribution programme, the Express was told.