Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 17th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Thursday, December 17, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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RICHARD LORD and KALIFA CLYNE
The Government has reduced the budg-
etary allocation for Carnival 2016 by
approximately $44 million.
This was revealed by Culture, Arts and
Community Development Minister Dr Nyan
In 2015, the allocation for Carnival was
$314 million but has decreased to $270 mil-
lion for next year's festival.
In an interview with reporters after yes-
terday's opening of the $13 million Beetham
Gardens Community Centre, Gadsby-Dolly
said the current economic conditions have
forced the Government to cut back.
The 14 per cent reduction is the latest in
a series of cuts announced by the Govern-
ment . Earlier this month ministries were
advised to reduce spending on Christmas
parties and a far as possible scale them
down to cater for staff only.
Gadsby-Dolly said: "Yes, that is what we
are considering at this point because in
every ministry there are shortfalls but we
are looking to determine how we can estab-
lish the quality of the festival and not sac-
rifice that just because we don't have the
exact allocation that we would have expected
Asked if the Carnival stakeholders should
be worried about the proposed reduction
in allocation, Gadsby-Dolly responded
quickly: "We have been in contact with our
stakeholders and they understand the sit-
She said the ministry was "in constant
communication (with them) ensuring that
they have what they need and the support
from the ministry to be able to bring off
what they have to for the Carnival."
Gadsby-Dolly said there was other fund-
ing provided from the ministry and different
State enterprises for Carnival but she did
The National Carnival Commission (NCC)
has said it was looking at creative ways to
manage the reduced allocation.
In an interview yesterday, NCC chairman
Kenny de Silva said the commission was
looking at how to cut costs or increase rev-
Of the $270 million allocated to the com-
mission for next year's festival, $60 million
was used to pay outstanding debts.
"Contractors may have to adjust their
prices downward," De Silva said.
He said that had already become a reality,
as suppliers, understanding the economic
challenges, had given the commission dis-
counts of between 10 and 20 per cent.
"They are very sensitive to the issue of
less funding. They are being conscious to
that and are very amenable," he added.
Earlier this week, NCC communications
manager Kevon Gervais said the commission
did not foresee a significant impact on the
"There are changes that need to be made
and so these changes will be made.
"We don't intend to do less things but
we have to be more creative and innovative
in the way funding is spent," Gervais added.
Last year, the NCC received over $314
million in funding with a significant amount
going toward debts from the 2014 festival.
Out of that funding, the National Car-
nival Bandleaders Association received $14
million, Pan Trinbago received $34.2 million
and the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians
Organisation received $10.8 million.
This year Pan Trinbago will receive $30
million in funding while the other two Car-
nival stakeholders will see funding reduced
by approximately $2 million.
Heads of Carnival organisations did not
return repeated calls yesterday.
Gadsby-Dolly said she was not able to
comment on the issue of the retention of
the $2 million first prize for the International
The show features the top Soca artistes
from T&T and the Caribbean. Soca star
Machel Montano is not expected to defend
his title this year, having said that last year
would have been his last in the competi-
Parade of the Bands will be on Monday
February 8 and Tuesday February 9, 2016.
Medical chief mum
on 'swine flu death'
Although the Ministry of Health began rolling
out its public education campaign on the Zika
virus one month ago, officials are urging the
public to educate themselves once again about
the H1N1 virus which has so far claimed five
Speaking yesterday on condition of anonymity,
officials called on citizens to play their part in
stemming the spread of both viruses by adopting
the strictest hygiene measures possible.
The H1N1 virus, which is also commonly called
swine flu, spreads from person to person, either
by inhaling the virus or by touching surfaces con-
taminated with the virus, then touching the mouth
or nose. Infected droplets are also expelled into
the air through coughing or sneezing.
Described as highly contagious, swine flu cases
have been reported in the US, Mexico, Canada,
Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Spain and the UK.
Admitting that swine flu can worsen the health
of persons suffering with chronic diseases, such
as asthma and heart failure, one doctor explained
it was very important to ascertain the cause of
death in patients who contracted the virus before
declaring the person died as a result of swine flu.
Contacted around 3 pm yesterday, Medical Chief
of Staff at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences
Complex, Mt Hope, Dr Andy Bhagwandass said
he was still awaiting a report relating to the person
who was said to have died as a result of swine
flu.Reports indicate the person died at the hospital
between Monday and Tuesday, and that two of
the attendant doctors had also contracted the
Unwilling to divulge the dead person's gender,
age or identity, Bhagwandass cited doctor/patient
confidentiality as the reason for his reluctance.
Asked to provide an update on the two doctors,
he said: "They are doing good and are at home
He again refused to make their identities known.
Pressed to say if he had received the report rel-
ative to a female patient who had recently given
birth and was also receiving treatment for the
virus, Bhagwandass, up to 2.30 pm yesterday said:
"I haven't gotten the file yet."
Asked if an autopsy had been performed on
the deceased patient to determine the cause of
death, Bhagwandass again declined to answer.
Meanwhile, officials at the ministry have urged
the public not to panic but to remain vigilant and
mindful of the symptoms of swine flu.
Hope, lies on the
road during a
workers at the
base of San
on Government to
off on the
payment for the
workers to be paid
SEE PAGE A7
Govt cuts Carnival
budget by $44m
PROTESTING FOR PAY
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