PM wants Physical Planning Division to speed up work
September 21, 2012
PM wants Physical Planning Division to speed up work

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has made a call for the authorities at the physical planning division to approach their work with more urgency, and for lawyers to charge less for the preparation of deeds.{{more}}

Gonsalves, who was speaking at the launch of CIBC First- Caribbean International Bank mortgage promotion on Tuesday, said that he was calling on the department heads and the Minister of Housing Montgomery Daniel to organize staff there to be ready to approve plans more speedily.

He said that although things have improved, it is the feeling of some that it takes too long to get approval before construction can get underway.

“The stories I hear up at Physical Planning, that sometimes fellas want to hold up in sending in the document … because they wanted to do the plan and you give it to somebody else, please.

“The spotlight is coming at you now, as to the pace at which you do it,” Gonsalves said.

“People will know if you are trying to pull a fast one or not,” he continued.

The prime minister said that he was sounding a little note of caution and asking for the cooperation of all working at the physical planning division.

Later on in his presentation, Gonsalves also made a second appeal — this one to lawyers, in which he asked them to charge less money for the preparation of deeds.

He explained that once the title to the property was clear, most of the work is done by the clerk who goes to the registry to check and the secretary, who does the typing.

“The only thing that changes are some names and the schedule and you want to charge an arm and a leg? he questioned.

“No!” the prime minister said.

“If FCIB can reduce its rates, let us see some reductions from the lawyers.”

Gonsalves said lawyers may in turn ask him to reduce income tax, but he had already done that, he said.

He added that lawyers had a bad reputation when it came to paying taxes in this country.

He further explained that if he were to be asked if he had given discounts while he practised law, his answer would be yes, and that he was the cheapest lawyer dealing with issues relating to deeds.(DD)