The Senate of Barbados passed two Acts during the opening session of its 18th sitting on Wednesday.
First was the Crown Land (Vesting and Disposal) Act regarding land at Retreat Six Mens, St Peter in the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTII) and the Companies (Economic Substance) (Amendment) Act 2023.
The former will permit approximately 1 298.7 square metres (1 212 square miles of beach up to the high water mark and 87.6 square metres of land) in St Peter to be vested to the BTII for tourism development.
This was the subject of debate in the House of Assembly on Monday and was introduced by Minister of Housing Dwight Sutherland.
While he acknowledged the benefits of the decision to grant the BTII the land, Senator Kevin Boyce cautioned against engaging in future ventures that will not benefit locals.
“We know our country sometimes makes provisions for high end development and they have to do the same for regular development so that there is not an exclusion of certain persons in the market,” he said. “When we are granting this prime parcel with regard to a developer to develop, perhaps there could be a sliver of land for local entrepreneurs to get involved.”
After that the Companies (Economic Substance) (Amendment) Act 2023 was the focus and was subsequently passed after little deliberation.
This Act now means that in accordance with international law relating to the exchange of information, the relevant Barbadian authorities will exchange all fiscal information for each period of the resident company to the foreign competent authority of the country in which a holding company; ultimate holding company; ultimate beneficial owner of the resident company resides.
The notice was given for the Act on January 18 and 25, respectively. (JC)