Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday rejected any settlement proposition from the State Asset Recovery Agency (SARA) for the plot of land on the East Coast of Demerara where he constructed his private seaside home.
Mr. Jagdeo’s comments came in light of reports that the Agency was in settlement talks with at least one former Minister of his government and other officials who had secured land in the same area below the market value.
But Jagdeo said he is not prepared to pay more money for his land in any settlement.
“I will not settle,” he told reporters during his weekly press conference on Thursday.
According to reports in two local newapapers, at least two of the beneficiaries of controversial land sales at `Pradoville 2’ are in talks with officials from the State Assets Recovery Agency.
The reports state that SARA reached out to the beneficiaries with the proposal, asking that the pay for the land at the price that it had been valued on the market, which was above what they actually paid.
The two officials in these settlement talks are former Natural Resources Minister Robert Persaud and private sector executive Ramesh Dookhoo.
In 2017, when Persaud was first questioned on the sale of the land, he indicated almost immediately that he was ready to settle, although other former government officials faced questioning defended the sale.
SARA has said that the beneficiaries could face charges over the sale and purchase of the state lands.
NICIL reportedly spent more than $200M to develop the seaside community after which the lands were then sold at below market value to PPP Government officials and persons they preferred to be their neighbours.
In 2010, Jagdeo was sold 1.5 acres of land, Block III, Parcel 246 Lot 246 Plantation Goedverwagting and 0.4603 acres, Block III, Parcel 241.