Thursday, July 31, 2008

QAII concession scam...NOT US

Guyana Times not benefiting from QAII concessions - Ramcharitar

The Guyana Times newspaper is not benefiting from concessions granted to Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII) subsidiaries and is paying for the services obtained at the QA11 Sanata complex in Ruimveldt, according to part-owner of the paper, Ravie Ramcharitar.

Guyana Times Inc is owned by three individuals, Director of QAII/Guyana Times, Ramcharitar told Stabroek News.
Ramcharitar, who is also the Finance Controller and Company Secretary of New GPC Inc and a Director of QAII and Guyana Times Inc, identified the other two owners as Ramroop Ramnarain, who is the Chairman of Guyana Times Inc and Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Times Inc, Neal Sukhlall.

Asked about the newspaper’s relationship with Queens Atlantic, he said that there is no direct relationship with Queens Atlantic. He said that Guyana Times Inc would be paying QA11 subsidiary Global Printing and Graphics Inc for any services it provides the newspapers as well as office and factory space.

As to whether the Guyana Times was being printed on the press for which QAII sought concessions, he said that the newspapers was being printed on a web press used solely for printing the newspaper. The web press, he said, was provided by QAII.

Public communications consultant to QAII, Kit Nascimento, who was present when Stabroek News spoke with Ramcharitar said that Global Printing and Graphics was in the business of printing on the market. “Sometimes you can get some benefit (when) you are purchasing a great deal of equipment. The web press is purely for printing of the newspaper. It can print other material but Global Printing is not using the web press for other purposes. Global Printing, a subsidiary of QAII, bought the web press, he explained.

At the launching of the newspapers on June 5, 2008, the Chairman of Guyana Times Inc was quoted in the Guyana Times June 6, 2008 edition as saying that the printing of the newspapers is just one of the operations of the newspaper company.
The facility being referred to as a web press was described by the newspaper at the launching as a state-of-the-art printing and packaging facility which “incorporates offset and flexographic printing and web press, which was also set to print books, magazines, brochures, leaflets, and newsletters and other commercial and packaging jobs.”

Guyana Times said “The machinery is capable of producing a wide range of packaging materials which includes labels, corrugated containers, folding cartons, paper sacks, plastic bags, milk and beverage cartons” and it has the “capacity to design and create any printed material to package vegetables, fruits and a wide range of other farm produce.”

Sunday Stabroek columnist and chartered accountant Christopher Ram in his weekly business page in the Sunday Stabroek of July 27, 2008 said that noticeably absent from the recommendations made by QAII was any reference to the printing and publishing of a newspaper “which in fact is the first real venture to materialize and which would have benefited, if not directly then indirectly, from any concessions granted to the other companies.”

It should be noted that QAII announced on June 5, 2008 the launching of the newspapers and the leasing of the Sanata Textiles complex in an advertisement carried in the July 27, 2008 Sunday Stabroek. It was also noted that even though sections of the complex were occupied by a Chinese company until 2006, the ad said that for over 15 years the property was abandoned.

The ad said that it took over 14 months to clear the mess and it is yet to be finished.
Asked at a seminar on Guyana’s privatization and taxation policies at Le Meridien Pegasus on Tuesday, Head of the Privatisation Unit Winston Brassington said that QAII took possession of the Sanata Textiles complex in June 2007 when the lease agreement was entered into, which is 13 months ago.

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