Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, arrival to the Ceremonial Opening of the 12th Republican Parliament.

In a few weeks after the Budget debate, procurement legislation will be implemented, Prime Minister Keith Rowley said yesterday.

He said that many more people will be involved in the process ahead – most of them people who were never in procurement and may see an opportunity to play in their own “local empires”. He said T&T, therefore, needs to go “fast and furious” into digitisation.

Rowley also said Government is prepared to be a catalyst and fund project management companies which he said is an idea whose time has come.

“We have in T&T lots of experience for this and lots of youths who can be human capital to supply our needs here and in the region to create economic activity.”

He said public/private partnerships can be used to create an entity to offer such services to contribute to growth outside of the energy sector.

He also dismissed claims Government owed TSTT $1 billion or $760 million for cameras. He said TSTT had been overbilling for camera supply by $300m but Government got a tender for $80m. He said only $200m was owed to TSTT and that’s being paid back via $4m monthly.

Rowley also said there will be no one coming to T&T’s help or to give relief aid. He noted that a recent address to the UN he called for international agencies to find ways to treat with countries’ predicaments and debt relief as debt if the major hurdle facing states like T&T in the immediate and medium-term.

But he said T&T cannot expect anyone will come to its help, since it’s seen as middle-income country and yardsticks – including foreign reserves, import comer time and debt to GDP – will not help T&T qualify for debt relief.

“With the yardsticks T&T has, they would say manage your affairs, you’re better off than many – let’s understand that in T&T no cavalry is coming to save us.”

He said Government would make the difficult decisions on its own.