Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Miscellaneous, People & Places » Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of LPG Importers Against G.O.B.
Apr 8, 2020

Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of LPG Importers Against G.O.B.

Audrey Matura

Two lawsuits have been filed in respect of the matter in which the importers are seeking judicial review of S.I. fifty-seven of 2019 and a constitutional challenge against the government. According to attorney Audrey Matura, on behalf of the LPG importers and along with co-counsels Dean Molina and Jose Alpuche, they are challenging the power of the government to infringe the constitutional right of their clients to conduct business.

 

Audrey Matura, Attorney-at-law

“In terms of the court aspect, the case is a judicial review case where we are reviewing how the government went about making a decision to put fixed prices instead of controlled prices. Bureau of Standards can control prices; they can tell you, you can’t sell beyond this price. But they can’t tell you, you can’t sell below this price—that’s our theory. They did pass legislation that said that they can confiscate the inventory. That legislation we are challenging it. Two legislations make provisions for that. In the fixed price legislation, which is S.I fifty-seven of 2019 and we are also challenging S.I. eighty of 2019 in which, at section eight, they say the minister; he can just decide to take away your product. That has nothing to do with the state of emergency; nothing. Those were legislation passed before we knew COVID-19 was coming here; those were legislations passed before there was a state of emergency. The caveat I must add to that is that even if those legislations did not exist and there is a state of emergency, under the state of emergency, section seventeen of the constitution that gives you right to property—can then be curtailed or suspended and the state can take over different business, not only LPG. They can take over supermarkets, the production of rice, flour, everything. Our state of emergency is not at that level.  There is no danger that LPG would not be coming into this country. As a matter of fact, under the state of emergency, the government made it clear that all ports remained open for importation and exportation. Our clients get license to import LPG through Guatemala; all the companies import through Guatemala for several reasons: it is the cheapest route, environmentally, it is the best route and economically, it then affords good prices.  There is a second case before the court where there is a constitutional case where we are challenging the power of the government to infringe the constitutional right of our clients, but saying we will stop you from carrying out the business you want. Section fifteen of our constitution is clear. We are also challenging the fact that section six of our constitution says that we are all equal before the law.”

 

This afternoon, the People’s United Party, said in a release that the move by the Barrow administration defies logic and has political ramifications, because the government is desperately trying to protect its yet unrealized national gas company. Any savings, it says, on an invaluable commodity like butane can literally mean the difference between a family eating, or not. The P.U.P. also demands that government relaxes its stranglehold on butane entities to allow Belizeans to enjoy the benefit of price cuts in butane.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed