Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, lays papers at the start of the 2nd sitting of the House of Representatives., yesterday.

While it’s not possible to give an exact date for payment for the 21,000 outstanding salary relief grants, the Finance Ministry hopes that in the next month it can pay all outstanding grants .

Finance Minister Colm Imbert indicated this in Parliament yesterday replying to UNC’s Vandana Mohit

He said to date 21,656 applications were screened. As of September 10, payments were made to 6, 560 eligible applications and the process continues.

Application processing is very comprehensive, he added. But people put inaccurate or incomplete information or are ineligible. Consequently the ministry’s Salary Grant Unit is contacting each of the 21,000 regarding information to ensure they get the grant.

Imbert said he’d like to give a date. But he noted issues that have arisen with applications.

One applicant from his constituency called him but they had left out their NIS number.

It took a long time for the information to arrive.

Another from Chaguanas, who contacted him, put the wrong work information and had to get a new letter from their employer “In many cases payment date depends on if people give the necessary information,” he said.

Prime Minister Keith Rowley, replying on action to remove T&T from the European Union’s blacklist, said this country completed legislative and administrative measures.

A Cabinet team’s spear-heading resolution. But EU’s in the process of further legislative and administrative requirements it may request and requirements were changing constantly. So to give a date to get off the blacklist was inappropriate, he added.

PM: No cost for FUL probe

Meanwhile, in Parliament yesterday on queries whether the report of an investigation into issuance of Firearms Users’ Licences by retired Rear Admiral Hayden Pritchard and retired Senior Superintendent Arthur Barrington will be made public, Rowley said,“These works of the National Security Council will exist but not to be made public at this time,”

Rowley said contrary to misinformation there’s been no cost associated with the matter

Rowley also said as National Security Council head, he had not been engaged in authorising a probe into the operations of the TTPS.

On whether the report will be sent to retired Justice Stanley John– hired by the Police Service Commission (PSC) for an inquiry of FUL issues under the TTPS– Rowley told Moonilal these are matters of national security.

On John’s terms of reference, Rowley said the terms, made by the commission, haven’t been shared with him. He said he hadn’t appointed John.

Moonilal said there was a lot of suspicion on the matter and if Rowley could call on the commission to say they appointed John since PSC had said nothing to date. Rowley replied, “The only suspicion I see here is (Moonilal’s) behaviour.”