Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 28th 2017 Contents A8 news
guardian.co.tt Saturday, January 28, 2017
US govt waiting on
T&T Fatca report
There's no US word of nullifying
Fatca for T&T.
Rather, the US Government is await-
ing the Parliament's Joint Select Com-
mittee report on T&T's Fatca legislation
next month, "as part of the Fatca im-
This was the US Government's posi-
tion - conveyed via the US Embassy - on
Thursday when T&T Guardian enquired
about a response to Opposition Leader
Kamla Persad-Bissessar's recent letter
to President Donald Trump on the fu-
ture of the US' Fatca law.
Persad-Bissessar's January 13 letter
asked Trump if his new administra-
tion would nullify the Fatca (Foreign
Account Tax Compliance) legislation
in the US.
If that happens, it would also nullify
Fatca legislation, currently being pur-
The Fatca legislation for T&T will fa-
cilitate sharing with the US, locally-held
information on US citizens' accounts.
The proposed legislation is now be-
ing examined by a parliamentary Joint
Select Committee which is scheduled
to submit a report on February 3.
In Persad- Bissessar's letter, she not-
ed Trump's Republicans had previously
attempted to repeal the US Fatca leg-
islation in the US Congress, but failed.
She also noted Trump had, prior to
winning, announced plans to repeal
many positions held by the Democrats.
Persad-Bissessar noted a list of items
for "possible nullification" released by
the US Republicans including "Infor-
mation Reporting by Foreign Financial
Institutions and other Foreign Entities"
She said this "would appear" to cover
Inter-Governmental Agreements with
T&T and other countries on Fatca.
Following Trump's win, Persad-Bis-
sessar said she obtained "information"
that Fatca repeal may be among Trump's
Persad-Bissessar asked if US law on
Fatca would be nullified and sought any
information on how Trump's Adminis-
tration may proceed with Fatca, so that
T&T's Parliament would have a better
idea of how to proceed with Fatca.
However, the US Embassy's response
made it clear it was representing the
Trump Government, and this was
awaiting the JSC report.
Its statement also conveyed the Fatca
"implementation timeline" remains.
The US Government had recom-
mended passage of T&T's legislation
by February 2017.
T&T risks sanctions if Fatca law isn't
approved and operationalised respec-
tively, between February and September
The legislation requires Opposition
support for passage.
After several delays - largely due to
Opposition's insistence on the JSC -
Government has warned it is coming
on February 3, once the JSC report is
delivered, for a vote on the issue.
UNC general secretary, Dave Tancoo,
said Persad-Bissessar's letter to Trump
hasn't received a reply, "but we're con-
fident of acknowledgement."
"President Trump was obviously
occupied with pressing matters after
being sworn in, so an immediate answer
may not have materialised."
"The letter doesn't have anything
to do with the JSC process, to which
we're still committed. It was simply to
clarify the US' position, considering the
change of administration. One couldn't
have assumed the status quo remained.
So a clear position was sought."
Finance Minister Colm Imbert said
the legislation was before the JSC and
it was inappropriate to comment.
Minister, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dol-
ly, says Carnival stakeholder
groups and other non-govern-
mental organisation will now be
subjected to a new subvention
clause after financial alloca-
tions are provided to them by
She said the new subvention
clause will allow for the audits to
Gadsby-Dolly said so during a
brief interview with reporters after
yesterday's function to distribute a
total of $2.1 million in cheques to
178 bands (102 conventional and
76 single pan bands) from the four
regions of the country. It took place
at her office in Nicholas Towers, In-
dependence Square, Port-of-Spain.
Only five cheques were present-
ed at that venue while the others
were presented at another venue
in St Ann's.
Gadsby-Dolly added: "There
are also NGO's that receive money
through the ministry for different
purposes and every NGO will now
be subjected to the new subvention
clause, which includes the right to
In response to another question,
Gadsby-Dolly said an audit into the
operations of the National Carnival
Commission (NCC) may be on the
agenda after Carnival 2017.
"There are a number of develop-
ments that can be expected after
Carnival 2017 that are being de-
termined and that will come out
at that point," the minister added.
She again denied a claim by Pan
Trinbago public relations officer,
Michael Joseph, that her minis-
try and the NCC were attempting
a hostile takeover of the umbrella
Asked about the relationship
between Pan Trinbago and herself,
Gadsby-Dolly said she was "not
certain (of) what the relationship
should be (but) what I know is we
have a cordial relationship, we have
a working relationship and we are all
interested in the best (for) Carnival
Among those who attended the
short function was the acting pres-
ident of Pan Trinbago, Richard For-
teau, who also spoke with reporters
after the event. He maintained Pan
Trinbago had submitted annual au-
Forteau, in response to questions,
said Pan Trinbago had made sever-
al unsuccessful attempts since last
November to meet with the minister
to give its side of the story.
He said Pan Trinbago wanted to
share "our side of the story" with
the Minister of Culture. He said
there were others who wanted Pan
Trinbago to try "our matters in the
court of public opinion. Forteau also
told reporters the media appears to
be trying to sensationalise the issue
and even hounding the organisa-
Forteau said the organisation
would like the audit to be done by
the Auditor General.
Chairman of Pan Trinbago's Tobago region, Marie Toby, left, receives a
cheque from Community Development, Culture and the Arts Minister Dr
Nyan Gadsby-Dolly during the distribution of cheques to unsponsored steel
bands at Nicholas Towers, Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
Minister: New subvention
clause for Carnival bodies
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