3198269
UNC MPs, from right, Roodal Monilal, Michelle Benjamin and Rushton-Paray leave the Red House after leaving the sitting of Parliament, yesterday.

Culprits doing illegal quarrying and related activities will be banned from getting State contracts and the Government will be getting power to borrow much more money for T&T’s development.

These are among provisions in the Finance Bill being debated in Parliament today.

The provisions were among those announced in the 2021 Budget.

On borrowing power, the bill will amend Section 3 (1) of the Development Loans Act, (Chap. 71:04) to increase the sum of money which Government is authorised to borrow for financing T&T’s general development, to a sum “not exceeding in the aggregate sixty-five thousand million dollars,” which is $65 billion.

The bill will also grant certain tax liability waivers and increase some other penalties.

The Opposition UNC will attend today’s debate, despite Tuesday’s walkout from Parliament during the debate on proposed Tobago self-government law.

Yesterday UNC deputy leader David Lee said, “Yes, we’re attending (today’s) debate. We’ve caucused on this bill and we stand ready to debate it.’’

Among the bill’s contents are proposals to ban from Government contracts, anyone who trades in or uses material removed from State land and does illegal quarrying.

The Bill will increase by 200 per cent the penalties for illegal quarrying and add a new section to provide that a person who knowingly trades in or uses material that is “dug, won or removed from state lands” is disqualified from engaging in construction projects funded by Government.

Penalties also apply in a new section where a person who knowingly trades in a mineral which is “explored for, mined, processed, imported, exported, extracted or purchased” in contravention of the Minerals Act is disqualified from engaging in Government construction projects.

The bill also provides for the wholesale business of dealing in petroleum products and to provide for the resale of petroleum products to a marketing business.

New law will provide for a fuel levy, including the requirement of a person conducting marketing business to pay monthly to the Minister a fuel levy.

The bill adds a new section to the Registration of Clubs Act, providing for waiver of certain outstanding liabilities in respect of taxes/owing under that Act for the years up to and including the year ending 31 December 2020 and during the period 1 January 2021 to 31 May 2021.

The waiver would only apply where such taxpayer, pays his outstanding taxes during the period 5 July 2021 to 17 September 2021.

Also provided is a waiver of certain outstanding liabilities in respect of taxes due/owing under the Income Tax Act for the years up to and including the year ending 31 December 2020 and during the period 1 January 2021 to 31 May 2021, but it’s only where a taxpayer, pays his outstanding taxes during the period 5 July 2021 to 17 September 2021.