Trinidadian Beverage Company Threatens Lawsuit Over Inability To Access Foreign Exchange

CMC – Lawyers for a Ramsaran Dairy Products (RDP) Monday threatened to take legal action against the Trinidadian government over its inability to source foreign exchange to import paper-based cartoons.

In a pre-action protocol letter sent to Attorney General Reginald Armour, the company, a local beverage producer, said that in March and September 2017, requests for foreign exchange were made by RDP founder, Rajnanan Ramsaran, and were refused by Finance Minister Colm Imbert.

“It is here that we form the view that foreign exchange in Trinidad and Tobago may not be equally distributed,” said the company’s attorney, Richard Jaggasar.

He noted that at least four companies did not appear to be faced with similar difficulties accessing foreign exchange.

“Ramsaran Dairy Products is a well-known brand/ product in Trinidad and Tobago. It is a reputable medium-sized family-owned business that has been in operation for several years,” the pre-action protocol letter stated, adding that RDP has contributed to the local economy, providing jobs and locally made products which are packaged in paper-based cartons.

It said other locally-based producers predominantly package their products in plastic packaging.

“It is universally acceptable that plastic is bad for the environment and degradable and/or reusable substances are preferred the world over,” according to the company, which pointed to a large distributor as an “example of the unequal distribution of wealth and resources.

“To put it plainly, some companies appear to be gaining liberal access for foreign exchange while others are being unjustly denied equal and fair treatment.

“…Moreover, it is noteworthy that while some of the companies are mere agents or redistributors of imported materials, Ramsaran Dairy Products is a locally-based product which means investments and revenue will circulate in Trinidad and Tobago.

The letter alleged that Ramsaran’s applications for foreign exchange necessary for his livelihood have been consistently refused while other companies and consumers of foreign exchange are treated differently and more favourably.