Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 4th 2015 Contents KEVON FELMINE
Public Transport Service Corporation
(PTSC) chairman Dr Vincent Lasse says
$57 million has been borrowed from
Republic Bank to settle outstanding pay-
ments to bus workers.
Speaking at the launch of the PTSC s new
Granville to Point Fortin route at the
Granville Activity Centre yesterday, Lasse
said workers represented by the Transport
and Industrial Worker Unions (TIWU)
should be paid by today.
He said he expected a resumption of full
bus service to the country yesterday as the
corporation had told the union of the loan
Asked how PTSC would repay the loan,
since it does not turn over a profit, he said
part would be paid by the Ministry of Trans-
port while the balance would be covered by
Lasse said PTSC hoped to increase aggres-
sively its customer base to achieve increased
"Yesterday I signed an agreement to
secure a loan to settle all the outstanding
matters which have caused us to have some
delay in the bus service," Lasse said.
"The Transport and Industrial Workers
Union employees at PTSC have demanded
their back pay in order to ensure that they
go back to work and do the work they had
signed up for."
He added: "We negotiated a loan of $57
million to pay them and as I was preparing
my few points to deliver today, at 4 am the
general manager called me and said the
cheque would be delivered to PTSC as I
now speak at 10 o clock. It shows that PTSC
has been proactive at all times."
Speaking by telephone last night, however,
Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz said his
ministry was experiencing cash flow prob-
lems as the fiscal year winded down and
most of the funding for the nine statutory
bodies he oversees had been expended.
Cadiz said it was not unusual for State
companies to approach local banks for fund-
ing though, adding that under PTSC s arti-
cles of incorporation the corporation could
He said the Ministry of Finance sent out
quotes to local banks and Republic Bank
had the best deal, adding repayment of the
loan will be covered in the 2015/16 national
"What has happened is that we have
come to end of fiscal cycle and funds are
stretched," Cadiz said.
"If it was earlier in the year we may have
been able to get the necessary funding to
pay the back pay but we came down to the
end of our budget and there is little or no
money left for excess.
"Therefore, we will borrow on a short
term basis and in the new fiscal term we
will pay back. Cash flow is the issue that
we have right now."
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Friday, September 4, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 03RD SEPTEMBER, 2015
The Elections and
mission (EBC) yes-
terday reported "a
lot of people" coming in to exercise their dem-
ocratic rights as special voters in San Fernando
and at its head office at Frederick Street, Port-
of-Spain, ahead of today s closure of special
voting in those areas.
The situation was briefly confirmed by EBC
chief elections officer Ramesh Nanan yesterday.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian by telephone,
Nanan said all EBC systems were ready for
Monday s general election.
On special voting, which began on September
1, Nanan said the total number of special voters
was 18,727. He could not say how much of this
figure had so far voted. He, however, said EBC
had noted large numbers voting in San Fernando
and the EBC s Frederick Street head office.
EBC stations established at Frederick Street,
San Fernando and Tobago for special voters
close at 3 pm today, he added.
He said there had also been no major com-
plaints in the voting exercise so far.
Also contacted yesterday, People s National
Movement (PNM) general secretary Ashton Ford
said the party had received no complaints of
any problems with special voters. UNC secre-
tariat officials were unavailable.
Meanwhile, National Security Minister Carl
Alfonso, speaking to T&T last evening, said all
upgraded security measures were being imple-
mented for Monday s general election activities
He said all police officers have been recalled
from leave and supplementary Defence Force
personnel were expected to be in the system
within the next 24 hours.
"You will be seeing a higher presence of secu-
rity personnel on the ground and roving in
areas ensuring that everyone is comfortable to
cast their ballot wherever in the country they
may be," he said.
He assured that systems will also be in place
for tomorrow s rallies by the bigger political
parties at the Aranguez Savannah, San Juan,
(People s Partnership) and Eddie Hart Savannah,
PTSC chairman Dr Vincent Lasse, left, sits behind the wheel of a bus as his deputy general
manager, properties, Ravi Ratiram, looks on during a ceremony, yesterday, at the Granville
Community Centre launching a new service from Granville to Point Fortin.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
Ministry experiences cash flow woes
PTSC takes back pay loan
Speaking about the decision, TIWU
president Roland Sutherland said while it
was worrying that the ministry had no
money to cover the back pay, they were
elated workers would get their payments.
He said the lack of funds was something
PTSC needed to work out with the
Ministry of Finance.
"I am elated as president of the union
because PTSC had retroactive payments
due to workers for more than three
months. There had to be some action this
month from the corporation because they
were getting difficulties to pay the money.
If they got money borrowed from the
bank then the workers are happy," he said.
He denied, however, workers were ever
on a strike, saying they were on a work-
to-rule to ensure they got what was owed
to them and that customers were safe
while travelling on the buses.
He added: "It is worrying as to why
Government could not guarantee the
PTSC its money. That is something they
will have to sort out with the
Despite the payments, he said workers
would continue to work-to-rule until there
were ample parts to repair defective
buses and a full compliment of road
worthy buses to ensure the public and
Although yesterday's ceremony was
supposed to inform residents of the new
service in their community, it eventually
became more of a political meeting.
Lasse, PTSC general manager Carl
Ramdeo, T&T's High Commissioner to
Nigeria Nyahuma Obika and members of
the Siparia Regional Corporation (SRC) all
used the podium to endorse United
National Congress (UNC) candidate for
Point Fortin Ravi Ratiram as the next MP.
Ratiram, who is PTSC's deputy general
manager of properties, promised to have
the Point Coco Road paved so buses can
use the road, improve bus sheds and have
a deluxe coach operate between Point
Fortin and Cedros.
Despite the new bus route being
requested since 2013 by Cedros councillor
Ramesh Seunal and SRC alderman
Shankar Teelucksingh, Lasse said it was
when Ratiram approached him to have
the route implemented that they
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