THE St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has taken issue with comments made by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet during his Thursday night press conference studios of the Government Information Service about how he could prove the veracity of an applicant for St. Lucian citizenship claiming a net worth of US$3 million or higher.
The party, at a press conference yesterday, its second in two days, explained that proving the accuracy of someone’s net worth is rather easy and the way it can be done is shown in the CIP Regulation No 89 of 2015, Regulation 7 (3) which indicates what an applicant has to send to show proof of his/her net worth.
But Regulation 7 (3) was revoked by the government as part of changes to the CIP Regulations that came into effect the first of this month.
A reason for its revocation, according to the Prime Minister was the inability of the government to determine the authenticity of an applicant’s net worth.
“What the Prime Minister did not say was that the CIP also had an arrangement with a financial due diligence firm called Wealth X to undertake financial due diligence on any applicant to proof that information provided is accurate,” said Ernest Hilaire, the SLP’s spokesperson on the CIP.
The SLP also took the Prime Minister to task for claiming that the Government Printery had made an error hence the reason Regulation 7 (7) was shown as being revoked. He asked.
“How does the printery make the error? The printery prints what is signed and sent to it for printing.”
The SLP is questioning whether the “robust and rigid” CIP system it had put in place will still be effective, claiming that the DSH Agreement provides a guarantee that all applicants the master developer brings in be approved within 35 days. This, the SLP claims, will compromise the CIP as each applicant must be thoroughly assessed on his/her own merit regardless how long it takes.
The SLP further claimed that the removal of the restriction of US$3 million of higher to qualify means that persons who are not investment-inclined may see the programme as a prime target since the condition to satisfy is not difficult.
The party had concerns about the introduction of a Regulation for the CIP Board or retain 20 percent of donations to the National Economic Fund when there were marketing agencies already getting 10 percent to do marketing and promotions.