Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 25th 2016 Contents A23
Monday, January 25, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Fugro Trinidad Limited., a leader in Offshore Survey Engineering and Positioning
needs an HSSEQ Coordinator.
At least 3-5 years experience in HSE field
All HSE related activities
Assist with miscellaneous duties required by Operations
Be proficient with Microsoft Office products. (Word, Excel, and Power Point)
Must be a team player with good communication/ presentation skills
Must be able to complete tasks with limited or no supervision
Must be very organized and have good planning skills
Applications accompanied by a detailed resume should be submitted no later than
29th January 2016 to:
Manager - HSSEQ
Fugro Trinidad Limited
29 Alexandra Street
Port of Spain
Please note that unsuitable applications will not be acknowledged. 0118042
#1-7 Fitz Blackman Drive
(next to the National Stadium)
Port of Spain, Trinidad W.I.
Fax: 868 623-6766
with quali ed MRI Technologists,
MRI Radiologists and MRI Physicists.
The country's most
1997 - 2015
The talk about diversifying
the economy is about three
decades old and ongoing. It
is an accepted truism that the
creation of new products and
services, hence companies and
jobs, is driven by R&D. Yet
T&T s contribution to R&D is
less than 0.04 per cent of GDP.
A one per cent contribution is
recommended if research and
development is to meaningfully
impact the economic fortunes of
a state. One must be sorely
tempted to ask whether we are
really serious about diversifying
We are again faced with a
drop in the prices of oil and gas
and the resulting decreased rev-
enues. If past history gives any
clues then it would be realistic
to assume that the abysmally
paltry figure dedicated to R&D
would become even paltrier.
Prices would continue to fluctu-
ate and dip in the future and
therefore the way forward looks
bleak if we continue down the
same path. Action is needed and
it is needed now.
The action being proposed is
to use a small percentage of the
sales/use of the country s forex
to establish and sustain a
national R&D fund. By way of
example, if a deduction of five
cents (TT currency) for every
one dollar (US denomination)
sold to businesses was made,
then the $500 million US
recently gobbled up would have
netted some $25 million TT to
the R&D fund.
The premise of this proposal is
simple. Use part of forex sales to
generate more forex, a self-sus-
taining approach. Presently, it
would be safe to say that the
majority of the foreign currency
is used in providing goods and
services for local consumption.
This approach cannot and will
not sustain the lifestyle to which
citizens have grown accustomed.
The implementation of this
measure requires that either a
deduction is made of forex sales
at the rate applicable at the time
of the transaction, or a "tax" be
added to the sale. This regime
could have a sliding scale if the
use of forex is prioritised.
The purchase of essential
medical equipment and supplies
could be rated higher than luxu-
ry goods etc.
A significant percentage of the
R&D fund must be denominated
in US dollars to facilitate the
purchase of equipment and sup-
plies to facilitate the R&D work.
The establishment of the Fund
requires legislation, the imple-
mentation of which should be
treated as a matter of urgency.
Further, proper mechanisms
must be put in place to ensure
that once funds are collected,
they are actually utilised. Amaz-
ingly, for a country that is short
on R&D funding, available funds
are either not or fully utilised.
For this venture to be success-
ful, an independent body should
have the responsibility to oversee
its operations. Eminent scientists
and engineers, including those of
the diaspora, must be utilised.
Very strict monitoring and eval-
uation policies and procedures
are to be adhered to if the out-
come of the funding process is
to be the commercialisation of
research. To this end, the uni-
versities need to up their game
and focus a lot more on R&D.
The time for the next wave of
economic growth for T&T is
upon us. Sugar is gone and oil
and gas may no longer sustain
us. A successful future requires
us to use our experience, knowl-
edge and creativity to develop
innovative and new products and
services that can generate the
required economic output. The
new national mantra must be
"Discipline, Productivity and
As I say goodbye, I sincerely
thank the many people who
commented verbally and by
emails, positively and otherwise,
to the column. It would be
remiss of me to not extend my
appreciation to the Guardian
Media Ltd and in particular the
former Editor-in-Chief, Ms Judy
Raymond, for proposing this
Last Thursday was not "normal." Nor-
mal means for me a day that takes
me to another school in my community
of Morvant/Laventille, interfacing with
children and teachers.
Last Thursday the not-normal took
me in search of water, which I found not
too far from my home in a light brown
colour and another variety in San Juan
by my family in a clearer version, and
definitely more potable!
What is normal was looking for a solu-
tion to the hopelessness; what is normal
is listening to the frustrations of the peo-
ple who walk, drive, work in this commu-
nity on a daily basis, who believe they
put their lives at risk and are in no way
encouraged for it.
Who come to share their knowledge
with students and are bombarded by the
"normal" of low literacy levels; trauma-
tised children who have experienced loss
after loss and feel battered in their
minds and spirits regularly and don't
know how to respond.
SBAs to complete, deadlines to meet,
and the only deadline they are accus-
tomed to is that yellow tape running
across the road or that flat line on the
monitor that says another one is dead!
How do we wipe up the tears, the
blood, the fears?
How do we comfort the comfortless
and bring hope again. How do we bind up
the broken hearted when ours is broken?
How do we reach out when our method
of reaching out is criticised and de-
monised and support is gone.
How do we meet deadlines set in yel-
low tape and overcome?
19 First Caledonia Road, Laventille
The reintroduction of property taxes is
a matter of concern especially to sen-
My wife and I are 80 and 75 years old
respectively. We bought a parcel of lands
in the East West Corridor in 1975 and
built a home for ourselves and our four
The cost of the lands and the building
was about $90,000. altogether. Previous
annual property tax on this property av-
We are not sure what method the
Government will use for the reintroduc-
tion of the property taxes but if the cal-
culations are based on current day
evaluation the sum could be considerable
Our predicament is that we are both
retired, not in receipt of old-age pensions,
and one of us gets NIS of $3,000 per
month and a private pension of $3,000.
This totals $6,000 monthly.
If the property is revalued today it is
likely to be about $2 million. We have not
done any major extensions to the prop-
erty and this current day valuation is
sheer capital appreciation over which we
have no control.
We are in occupation of the property
so whether it is valued $90,000 or $2
million it does not matter to us. Our in-
come is minimal ($6,000 monthly) and
we live out of augmented savings which
Any amount of property taxes im-
posed at this stage will create hardship. It
is recommended that senior citizens in
this category should be exempted from
paying any property tax.
The method of evaluating who should
or should not be exempted can be on the
basis of senior citizens over 65 years old
who are owner/occupied with an income
of under $10,000 monthly, and who are
prepared to fill out a sworn declaration
form. Submitted for the consideration of
the Minister of Finance and the Govern-
ment of T&T.
USE FOREX SALES DEDUCTION FOR R&D FUND
An army soldier and a health agent from Sao Paulo's Public health secretary
check a residence during an operation against the Aedes aegypti mosquito,
which is a vector for transmitting the Zika virus in São Paulo, Brazil,
Wednesday. A US warning urging pregnant women to avoid travel to Latin
American countries where the mosquito-borne virus is multiplying
threatens to depress tourism to the region. AP PHOTO
How do you deal with a sense of hopelessness?
Exempt senior citizens from property tax
SCIENCE AND SOCIETY
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