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Parliamentary Representative for Constituency #8 and member of the Opposition, Eugene Hamilton

Basseterre, St. Kitts: The Parliamentary Representative for Constituency #8 and member of the Opposition, Eugene Hamilton is not satisfied with the responses to questions he asked in Parliament Thursday morning regarding the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF). Mr. Hamilton asked several questions about the SIDF at the start of Assembly.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Denzil Douglas said that he could not disclose details of the transactions of the Foundation as it was a private foundation and therefore any question regarding monies it collected and the balance of its fund had to be obtained from the SIDF itself. He said that the Foundations Act of 2003 stated that upon the registration of a foundation, the foundation would become a separate and independent legal entity in its own right capable of suing and being sued in its own name. It was in that regard, he said, that he felt the questions were misplaced to have been asked in Parliament.

But when the Prime Minister only gave an approximation of the number of applications received and went on to described the SIDF as one of the most sought after in the world and give background information, Mr. Hamilton indicated his dissatisfaction with the failure to get exact figures. However, the Speaker of the House allowed the Prime Minister to continue with his response.

The Speaker of the House allowed the Prime Minister to continue with his statement for the purpose of educating the public. As such, Dr. Douglas added that not all applicants would be successful after undergoing the necessary security and background checks. He did not give a figure of how many had been approved so far and told the member of the Opposition that he was presenting the information his office had received.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr, Denzil Douglas also spoke to how the government benefitted from business done with the SIDF. However, Mr. Hamilton remained unpleased with the response but the Speaker of the National Assembly, Curtis Martin informed him that while he might not agree with the answers, they were answers nonetheless.