COMMISSIONER of Lands, Alan McNeil will be conducting a public meeting in Noro, Western province on Thursday at 2pm, specifically to do with Pari Development land.
PARI Development Company Ltd Managing Director, Donald Bato came out in the Island Sun newspaper last week claiming that the money the company collected from people living on its land is to support the company pay their General Property Rates fees to the Western Provincial Government.
The company in March this year had paid $123,464.20 to the Western provincial government. [Island Sun has sighted documents pertaining this]
Meanwhile, McNeil said he is interested to hear from the public what they have to say about that.
“I’m also keen to understand the extent of Pari Development’s land deals and to reassure members of the public residing on the land I took back from the company that I will not be evicting them, and instead I will work towards putting a report to the Land Board seeking to formally offer them land title, something Pari Development never did,” he said.
Explaining this last week, Bato said although PARI had every right to evict settlers off its lands in Noro, it did not for humanitarian reasons.
“We did not want to repeat what Samlimsan and KHY companies did to settlers on their land, which media had reported the companies of forcefully evicting and chasing out settlers. That is cruel and inhuman,” Bato explains.
He said instead they opted to offer the settlers time to, while continuing living on PARI land, look for where else to go.
But, Bato elaborates, while the settlers continue living on PARI land, it is only fair that they help the company pay the provincial land rent fees.
Hence, he said, PARI discussed with the settlers and all agreed on small amounts of contribution from each.
He reiterates an underlying point in this issue which is, PARI has plans to further develop its lands there, but for the very reasons explained above, it cannot at the moment.