Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, is refuting as "divisive and inaccurate", statements made by Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar that Government did not provide funding for cultural and religious groups for 2017 Indian Arrival Day celebrations.
The Ministry says in a statement that, through its Grants Committee, it received and evaluated applications for grants/support to aid the hosting of Indian Arrival Day celebrations across Trinidad and Tobago.
It says funding totalling $347,500 in support was approved.
The Ministry says that to date it has dispersed $145,500 with an additional $150,000 for the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha and $52,000 for several other groups to be collected.
The Ministry says its mandate is to build culturally rich and resilient communities and it continues to support the work of all Community Based Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Faith Based Organizations through various means including grant funding.
It says that it is therefore unfortunate that the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Abolition of Indentured Labour has been "sullied by misinformation".
"The statements are unqualified by facts and serve only to incite division of our country and its people," the Ministry says.