Private developers had no preferential treatment – Fmr Housing Minister

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Former Minister of Housing, Irfaan Ali has denied accusations that certain private developers enjoyed preferential treatment when the government was selling prime lands aback Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) to investors for the construction of gated communities.

Ali, in a statement issued today, responded to an article in the Kaieteur News which reported that businessman, Roopnarine Ramcharitar purchased 28.8 acres of land for US$800,000 and on the same day of the transaction, sold the property to a New York based investor for US$2.8M.

The former Minister argued that the article is “distasteful, mischievous and dishonest” and “a misrepresentation of facts”.

According to the politician, the names of all private developers were made public on many occasions and therefore there is no secret or hidden agenda.

“All these proposals by developers and investors were responses from expression of interest notices publicly advertised,” he stated.

Ali added that the terms and conditions of all the contracts are the same and that all the developers are bounded by the same conditions.

“It is a total misrepresentation to suggest otherwise and at some point basic decency and honesty must be adhered to in reporting. There was no preferential treatment for any of the developers,” he posited.

Ali contended that the only motive of the Ministry of Housing was to facilitate private investment and capital in expediting and expanding the housing and construction sector to the benefit of the economy.

“I remain proud of the expansive development, investment and benefit that the East Bank Development has brought to thousands of Guyanese,” he stated.

The politician further asserted that “in relation to how companies are owned and operated; the Ministry did not involve itself in the operations of the developers. The conditions of sale are listed in the agreement with the developers and any Government can act based on the agreement.”

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