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Machine down

Stamp duty payment on hold

By Elizabeth Williams

Car loans, mortgages, stamp duties and the confirmation of deeds in Tobago are now at a stand still as the machine necessary to authorize these documents has been non-functional for almost a month.

Attorney at Law Deborah Moore Miggins held an emergency press conference on the matter last Friday at her chambers, noting that the only alternative is for her staff to travel to Trinidad to ensure commercial transactions are completed in a timely manner.

"These things really adversely affect anybody who is practicing and doing business here. Clients are clamoring for their deeds, some lawyers I think have resorted to the solution of paying their way to Trinidad every week, to register these documents," Moore- Miggins said.

One senior official at Inland Revenue Tobago, who wished not to be named, confirmed the machine is out of service and is in Trinidad under repairs. The machine is necessary for the finalization of stamp of approvals, thereby authorizing documents. The only operational facility for such services at the moment is located at Inland Revenue Port of Spain.

"Because bill of sales are those documents that people have to sign when they get a car loan, and car loans are being granted on a daily basis, plenty of them, and we cannot tolerate this in Tobago. These documents are now delayed, in light of the machine being out of service," Moore-Miggins said.

This is not the only problem troubling this lawyer, as there is only one Commissioner of Affidavit in Tobago, while the necessary complement is approximately four. She also raised the controversial issue of land title. A committee was instituted in 2011 by Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadar, headed by the Minister of Tobago Development Vernella Alleyne- Toppin.

On March 1, THA Chief Secretary Orville London wrote the Legal Affairs Minister, requesting a status on the controversial issue. Approximately 15 meetings have been held since the committee was formed, but since July of last year, Moore Miggins has not received word on the way forward. She claimed an interim report was developed by the committee.

"We still are in limbo, people are still frustrated. We still are having a plethora of claims and counter claim and uncertainty. People cannot go to the bank to get loans to build their houses. It's just frustration all around," Moore- Miggins said.

Calls to Mrs. Alleyne- Toppin phone have not been returned. When contacted, Chairman of Inland Revenue Deokie Hossein said she is aware of the problem existing in Tobago and San Fernando but her hands are tied on the matter.

"The machines as well as the present laws are outdated and the necessary legislature needs to be passed in Parliament, for Inland Revenue to enact the necessary changes," she said.

She is today hopeful, with the passing of the Finance Bill, present problems will be a thing of the past.

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Tobago Mother said on Saturday, Mar 24 at 2:02 AM

Could the Department be sued for not providing service ?

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Anonymous said on Thursday, Mar 22 at 3:15 PM

When you keep on trying to keep up with a fast growing ,world wide sector and forget the basics,we have many unecessary failures. People looses jobs to cut cost and the cycle of wake up ,pay attention ,to whats happening around you. Before the machine people were able to make loans and the system work sufficently sucessful.Lets go back to basic,its the true identity of constructive development.The bible clearly says do not follow their ways ,come out from amoung them.the race is not for the strong our the fastest.Tobago start beign leaders and not followers, we do not go to school to continously fit into a follow and dont think,we are not in elementary school.Tobagonians are intelligent people,take whats good and purposely build up confidence.in a direction which is examplery.if a machine takes away jobbs, thats a no ,no no situation. if the basic keeps people working dont kill it by importing unnecessary headaches..But develop the basics.The children of God married the wrong people .

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The Observer said on Saturday, Mar 17 at 3:31 PM

They found 4.1 M to do a rounder about, which 350 would of resolved the access to the New Hosp. Hope they can find the funds to resolve this issue .

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Bureaucrat said on Saturday, Mar 17 at 9:11 AM

The British may have invented bureaucracy, but the Department of Inland Revenue have honed it to shining perfection.

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atlanta gonian said on Friday, Mar 16 at 4:21 PM

I worked for the treasury dept back in the early 80's as a junior clerk.The level of inefficiency is so glaring.True,there was a lot of paper trail,but you had 8 persons doing the job that one person could have done,even then when there was no computers there.Tobago and by extension Trinidad civil beauracracy is modeled after the 1960's British system..

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the virginian said on Friday, Mar 16 at 10:43 AM

Built-in redundancy is usually necessary to insure continued and uninterrupted operation of a critical functionality in circumstances such as described.C'mon Tobago,this is the twentyfirst century,what sort of archaic system you still have where one is dependent on some governmental operation to consummate a bank loan.The loan-originator should collect whatever fees are due the govt and pass them on.Please,too many hands involved in such transactions.What's the word again? Inefficiency!

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Anonymous said on Friday, Mar 16 at 10:06 AM

Now this is real ta ta Stamp duty machine down for almost 1 month

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