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Coming next week: 10,000 bid for Land Lotto

Tuesday, May 14 2013

NEXT Tuesday, a total of 10,000 applicants of the State’s “Land for the Landless” programme will be eligible for a random lottery in which 500 will be chosen to be among the first to be given lots of land.

The announcement of this lottery – to be administered by the Ministry of Housing Development – was made by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last night at the UNC’s Monday Night Forum held at the Tunapuna Hindu School in the St Augustine constituency. The Land for the Landless programme had been announced by the Prime Minister four months ago. She said since that announcement, there had been 40,000 applications. A points system was devised to screen these applicants based on factors including: family size, persons with disabilities or challenges and whether applicants were State employees.

Of the total, 10,000 were deemed eligible for the land programme which also involves financial assistance towards the construction of houses on the land.

“I advised Minister Moonilal, that every one of them must have an equal chance, an equal opportunity. Our land for the landless programme must be fair and responsible to all citizens,” she said. “Points were given based on several criteria, including family size, persons with disabilities, State employees and more.”

Persad-Bissessar continued, “Next Tuesday, on May 21....anyone... who has been shortlisted, will know if they have been chosen for one of the first 500 lots of land, allocated under this programme. Five hundred sealed receipt numbers, will be drawn from a transparent container that will have all 10,000 short-listed applications. All 10,000, fair and equal and we will draw by lot the first 500 that qualify under the programme. It will be randomly drawn in front of a public audience and on national television. I will not stand for any backroom deals or persons names being moved up the list.” At the same time, the Prime Minister also noted tpersons chosen out of the lottery would still be subject to, “a process of verifications” to ensure that each person meets the set criteria.

Persad-Bissessar made the lottery announcement in a speech which made no direct reference to Jack Warner or the Chaguanas West bye-election.

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