Only 50 per cent of funds received from UTS sale | THE DAILY HERALD


PHILIPSBURG–Government has received only 50 per cent of the funds from the sale of St. Maarten’s 12.5 per cent share in United Telecommunications Services (UTS).

  During the weekly Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday, Finance Minister Perry Geerlings said government expects to receive the remaining balance in the next two to three months.

  Setbacks in receiving the full payment were a result of a disagreement by the buyer, Liberty Latin America Ltd. (LLA) with the use of the term “minimum price” in the law. LLA through its legal counsel requested an amendment causing the initial setback.

Geerlings stated “When we finalised this law it stated that the sale of UTS should be for a minimum price of US $1 million. It is not feasible for Parliament to sell the country’s assets without knowing the minimum price.”

  As a result, the law needed to be amended. A consensus between government and LLA of a textual change to the initiative law was reached. The revised law will now clarify what is meant by minimum price.

  The amended law was approved on Tuesday in the Council of Ministers meeting and preparations have been made to deliver this to Governor Eugene Holiday and thereafter to the Council of Advice.

  The Minister said he hopes the Council of Advice will take an urgent look into the amended law. The funds from the sale are to be allocated for the retroactive payments to justice workers in the St. Maarten Police Force and part of the repayment agreement to TelEm.

Source: The Daily Herald