United National Congress (UNC) Senator Wade Mark is calling on Minister of Finance Colm Imbert to disclose the total liabilities that regional insurance giant Sagicor is taking over.
Mark’s questions came from a media report that stated that Sagicor was paying nothing but taking over $8 billion dollars in liabilities in the wake of the CL Financial debacle.
Mark raised the question during his contribution to the debate on the Insurance (Amendment) Bill of 2018 which was debated during the Senate sitting at the Red House, Port-of-Spain, earlier this week.
Mark also said that despite four Joint Select Committee sittings, one debate and 19 months, the Government failed to table and debate the amendments to the Insurance Bill.
“We are now debating a second set of amendments to the same Act and you know what? The regulations have not been laid,” Mark said.
“After 20 months, the Act number 4 of 2018 has not been laid and what the Minister tells us now is that in two-months time the law will be proclaimed,” Mark said.
Mark said he was concerned with what the Senate was not being asked to debate.
“I believe that we, in this Parliament, is being taken by an external forces, for a ride and we are being used as a rubber-stamp Senate to accomplish other things,” he said.
“But as long as I can breathe and I can research, I will expose the shenanigans of those who have their own objectives,” he said.
Mark said chief among his concerns was that the Government made changes to the wording of the new Amendments including changing foreign company to foreign insurance company.
“Why foreign insurance company? That is to facilitate the company called Sagicor, which is foreign to us,” he said.
“Again, you can see the dots being connected in this matter,” he said.
Mark said he was also concerned about another change, in which the Government deleted the word “audit or caused to be audited” and instead inserted the words “examined or caused to be examined”.
“You ask yourself the question, why would the Minister want to do that. I notice in his contribution, he did not deal with that matter at all,” he said.
Mark said he did not support the changes to the Act because he believed it was an attempt to “water-down” the original purpose of the Insurance Act.