Flood victims among recipients of grants totaling $300,000

Several families from across the country, have received grant assistance from the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, under its National Social Development Programme (NSDP).

The grants which amount to up to $15,000 for materials, were distributed in a brief ceremony held at the Ministry’s Head Office in Port of Spain on Monday. 

Among the 22 recipients were also victims of natural or man-made disasters resulting from flood or fire damages.

PSA, Finance Ministry talk on progress of Revenue Authority

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert and PSA president, Watson Duke, have agreed to draft a Memorandum of Understanding on the structure of the proposed Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority. 

The decision came via a meeting of the ministry and the PSA on Wednesday.

Legislation on the authority is now before a Joint-Select Committee of Parliament and requires a special majority vote.

Minister Imbert said the two parties discussed issued of job security and employee benefits, as well as union representation, the health plan and pension plan.

COP wants answers on TT-Venezuela gas deal

The Political Leader of the Congress of the People (COP), Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, is calling on the government to reveal details of the Terms of Agreement (TOA) signed by Prime Minster, Dr. Keith Rowley and the Venezuelan President, Nicholas Maduro.

The COP said in a statement that whereas the Government may not be able to publicly state the agreed price for gas produced from the Dragon field, it ought to provide details on the pricing formula and other emerging issues related to this project.

Government awards over $.6 million in grant funding

The Ministry of Trade and Industry, through state agency exporTT, has disbursed $687,500 from the Research and Development Facility (RDF) to two enterprises for projects intended to infuse technology into the operations of the respective businesses.
“The Government continues to offer incentives to businesses with export potential involved in strategic sectors. Wholly owned local businesses with innovative and technology-driven ideas are encouraged to apply for funding under the RDF,” Minister of Trade and Industry, Paula Gopee-Scoon said.

Ban on importation of certain seeds is not new - Finance Ministry

The Ministry of Finance says a ban on the importation of certain types of seeds, is not a new initiative.

The ministry issued a statement on the ban on Wednesday.

"The Hon. Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance, has taken note of recent commentary on the importation of certain items into Trinidad and Tobago, and the mistaken belief that these import restrictions have only recently occurred.

Cabinet Retreat at Diplomatic Centre on Friday

Cabinet will meet in a one day retreat at the Diplomatic Centre in St Anns on Friday.
According to a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister during the exercise, various ministers will review the development programme, inter-ministerial cooperation activities and public service responsibilities among other issues. The retreat comes days after Dr Keith Rowley announced a cabinet reshuffle which saw the appointment of Stuart Young as minister of National Security while Edmund Dillon was handed the portfolio of Housing And Urban Development minister.

Marlene back on the job soon

Public Administration Minister Marlene McDonald is expected to be back at work after the next week when her medical sick leave ends on July 30.

McDonald confirmed the sick leave end date yesterday.

McDonald fell ill with pneumonia two weeks ago and was warded at St Clair Medical Centre. She was discharged after about five days—including after having fluid removed from her lungs and being nebulised—and has been recuperating at home since.

Government revenue up by $4.2 billion

The deficit incurred by Central Government in the first seven months of fiscal year (FY) 2017/18 was $2,909.8 million, down from the $8,991.1 million in the corresponding period a earlier.

According to the latest Monetary Policy Report from the Central Bank, the smaller deficit, was financed by borrowing primarily on the domestic capital market, some external multilateral loans and the use of the Central Bank overdraft facility.

As a result, the non-energy fiscal deficit fell to $9,233.2 million from a deficit of $12,263.6 million one year ago.

National Security to utilise Huawei technology in fight against crime

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon, and newly appointed Minister of Communications Stuart Young have met with executives of Huawei Technologies for a presentation by one of their top Executive Global Security Officers.

A government statement says this meeting was a direct follow up to the recent official visit of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to the People’s Republic of China and in particular, an outcome of his visit to Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen, China, where it was agreed that Huawei would do an assessment of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Fusion Centre.