Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 17th 2014 Contents A6
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Parliament Act #23 of 1991.
Of the $314 million allocated
to the National Carnival Com-
mission (NCC) for Carnival 2015,
$150 million was used to pay off
the commission s debt incurred
in staging last year s festival.
This was revealed by Arts and
Multiculturalism Minister Lincoln
Douglas yesterday while respond-
ing to questions from the media
after a press conference at the
NCC s VIP booth, at the Queen s
The press conference was called
by the Arts Ministry to update the
country on Carnival preparations,
but Douglas also took the oppor-
tunity to discuss Carnival funding
and information reported by the
T&T Guardian that the minister
had been denied additional funding
after his ministry made an error
when calculating budget propos-
als.Douglas, who had previously
said he was never denied $43 mil-
lion by Finance Minister Larry
Howai, nor was there any oversight
in respect to the budget, repeated
his denials yesterday, despite con-
firmation by Howai which the T&T
Guardian reported earlier this
Whereas, Douglas said, he had
indeed broached the matter of
additional funding with the
Finance Ministry, this was nothing
new and the additional funds
requested were not for Carnival
2015 but for the development of
the "overall carnival industry."
"The country has finite
resources and after basic budget
allocations, most ministries do not
receive the total amount of money
every year and
istries return to the
minister of finance
or the Cabinet for
He stressed that
money requested was not for Car-
nival 2015. However, both Douglas
and NCC chairman Lorraine
Pouchet made it clear the NCC
needed additional funds for oper-
The NCC had made a budgetary
request for TT $588,094,661 but
received only about 53 per cent of
this figure, or TT $314,135,369.
The NCC s accrued debt for 2015
of $150 million was paid out of the
budgeted allocation leaving just
over $160 million for this year s
The Government, in 2013, gave
the NCC $175 million to eliminate
debt the commission had at the
Douglas said the application to
the Ministry of Finance had to do
with the repaying of loans that
were taken by the NCC in previous
years to meet the shortfall in car-
Pouchet said that the NCC had
no major outstanding debts.
"We aren t debt-strapped, we
don t owe anybody really, but what
we do know is that we have an
issue where we need to get addi-
tional funding to ensure that the
NCC can continue to operate for
the entire year and to the next
budget and so that we could also
satisfy the demands of the stake-
holders within the carnival and
cultural fraternity," Pouchet said.
Spectators, along with vendors, will
watch the parade of the bands from
bleachers placed behind fences, to keep
them off the parade route between
Keate Street, Port-of-Spain, and the
This will virtually eliminate the bot-
tleneck that typically plagues bands
hoping to cross the Savannah stage on
Carnival Monday and Tuesday,
explained National Carnival Commis-
sion Chairman (NCC) Lorraine Pouchet.
She made the announcement yes-
terday at a news briefing to update the
country on Carnival plans. National
Security Minister Gary Griffith and
Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Lin-
coln Douglas also addressed the media
at the conference, with both Pouchet
and Griffith focusing on management
of the parade route.
"From Keate Street all the way up
to the Savannah stage will be sanitised,"
"By that we mean there will be no
vending on the drag, no vending on
the streets leading into the drag.
"It will be fenced and spectators will
not be allowed inside the space where
masqueraders will be performing so
the masqueraders have from Keate
Street to the stage to play themselves."
Pouchet said behind the fences there
would be bleachers with vendors
between each set of bleachers.
"So the vendors are happy, people
in the bleachers will purchase from
them, the people are happy (because)
they don t have to jostle with the mas-
queraders, and the masqueraders are
ecstatic because they have a longer
stage to play on."
Pouchet said the NCC expected that
these management plans would elim-
inate the bottleneck and allow freer
movement near the stage.
She said the NCC was still finalising
plans to eliminate the gridlock on Ari-
apita Avenue on both days of Carnival.
Congratulations to Asha Basdaie
Dwarika, who won Thursday s jack-
The number drawn on Crime Watch
yesterday was 782852. If the mask on
the back of your yesterday s T&T
Guardian has that number, you win the
prize of $500 cash.
You have until 3 pm Monday to come
to the Guardian office, 22-24 St Vincent
Street, Port-of-Spain, with the news-
paper containing the winning number
and photo identification.
Also, keep your Saturday, Sunday
and Monday papers and tune into
Crime Watch live on Monday night
from 6 pm, on CNC3, for the draw.
There will be one draw, and one win-
ning number with a jackpot worth at
least $1,500 cash. If the number drawn
matches the mask number on the back
of your Saturday, Sunday or Monday
T&T Guardian papers, then you win
Monday s prize.
NCC pays $150m
to clear debt
Chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) Lorraine Pouchet
addresses members of the media while National Security Minister
Gary Griffith and Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas
listen during yesterday's news conference. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Fences to keep crowds off parade route
Carnival Cash Promotion prize worth $500
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