NCC escapes another levy
August 29, 2000
For the second time in as many weeks, the National Carnival Commission (NCC) was yesterday forced to scare up sudden cash to avoid irate creditors levying on its assets.
And it was double trouble yesterday, as the Copyright Organisation (COTT) threatened to stop all entertainment activities at The Clubhouse (adjacent to the Grand Stand at the Queen's Park Savannah), if licence fees for music used there was not paid by this weekend.
First, it was Saran Sampath Hardware and Construction who, on August 18, went to the NCC's Queen's Park Savannah offices with bailiffs to seize assets to the value of $300,000.
Then, yesterday, Attorney Martin George, representing Amalgamated Security Services Ltd, followed the same path.
In both cases, the NCC managed to suddenly find the money to pay its outstanding bills.
Last Carnival, Sampath supplied materials and did construction work for the Commission. The firm eventually took the NCC to court, when payment for those services became long overdue.
In the case of Amalgamated Security, the matter goes back to last year.
George filed a writ against the NCC on January 11, 2000. The Commission's attorney, Dharmendra Punwassie, replied on February 4, saying: "I must indicate that the debt is owed by the Ministry of Culture and Women's Affairs. I am instructed, however, that my client has been advised by the Ministry to pass all claims to the Ministry for settlement. In the circumstances, I ask that you kindly hold your hands while my client pursues this course, in an effort to have your client's claim attended to."
But time ran out for the NCC on July 12, when Deputy High Court Registrar Paula Pierre signed an order of the court dated June 16, authorising Amalgamated Security to recover against the defendant. The sum involved is $70, 324.80, plus interest accruing from January 11 at the rate of six per cent per annum.
When George arrived at the NCC yesterday, he met Arnim Smith, the only board member available, who authorised the payment. Settlement was made through four Republic Bank cheques (#027622/5), three for $20,000 each and the fourth for $15,620.
Both NCC chairman Claude Clarke and CEO Selwyn Luces are in London for the Notting Hill carnival, from where they will proceed to New York's Labour Day carnival.