Our Land – The Caroni case

In Trinidad just as in Barbados, public land seems to be the commodity most often seized upon by corrupt governments to bail out bad decisions and to line personal pockets. There are many schemes for making that magical transformation from public asset to private profit. Our friend Afra Raymond reports on yet another scheme…


Caroni (1975) Ltd, the loss-making sugar conglomerate which was also a State Enterprise, was closed on 1 August 2003. The Caroni estate has to be located within the wider context of our national Land Policy, if we are to make sense of what is happening.

“The now-defunct Caroni (1975) Limited includes lands the size of Tobago whose value has been under-stated and which now could fall prey to a land grab……The current Caroni Transformation Process is about converting national assets into private assets. In the main it is serving the interest of those who wish to generate private capital from public wealth stocks; for this reason the current process is exploitative and fraught with inequity.

“The historical model is being excruciatingly exacted on Caroni lands. The current transformation clones the historical model.” The Report criticised areas of the current restructuring process which echoed those of the exploitative historical model. It…

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One response to “Our Land – The Caroni case

  1. de castro

    Paradise seems to be in need of a new land reformation policy.
    Public/private land ownership.
    Serious rethink of what should be “freehold” what should be “leasehold”
    Freehold land generates “one off” profit.
    Leasehold land generates “income” for life.
    What should be freehold/leasehold is the decision of central
    government guided by local government…..land useage.
    Land must be used for the purpose it is allocated.
    Farming/housing/industrial etc.
    The government should not be selling land…..it should be leasing
    it income for life of every bajan taxpayer.
    May add if you don’t use it you loose it.😇

    Just a thought provoking idea !