Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 8th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt March 8 - 2017
PNM women against
People's National Movement
(PNM) Lady Vice chairman
Camille Robinson-Regis says the
party and its Women's League are
against child marriages and vio-
lence against women.
She was speaking to reporters
before the start of the PNM Wom-
en's League praise and worship
service at Balisier House, Port-of-
Spain, on Saturday. The service
was titled When Women Pray.
Debate on amendments to the
Marriage Act are currently ongo-
ing in Parliament, with both sides
arguing the views of various sides
of the issue, which continues to
divide the country.
Robinson-Regis said: "One of
the areas that we feel very strong-
ly about is with regard to the mar-
riage of minors.
"You would see that we did
continue with the debate in the
House of Representatives (Friday).
"Over the last ten years there
have been over 3,000 marriages
of minors, particularly young girls
under the age of 18.
"We feel that it is time that there
be a legislative solution to that
issue and we also have a problem
with teenage pregnancies and we
are looking at that very seriously."
When asked about her opinion
on the recent incidents of violence
against women, Robinson-Regis
said there had certainly been an
increase, but noted violence
against women has been taking
place for quite some time not only
in T&T, but across the world as
She said as a political party and
as a representative of the Women's
League of the party they had to
stand in solidarity with those
women and groups that felt some-
thing must be done seriously about
She said prayer was one of the
answers and also that men need-
ed to be educated with regard to
how they treat women and women
on how they valued themselves.
Robinson-Regis said they had
expressed their concern before
they knew that there had been a
problem with domestic violence.
People's National Movement Lady Vice Chairman Camille Robinson-Regis (third from right, front row) prays
alongside other members during the Women's League praise and worship service, titled When Women Pray at the
party's Balisier House, Port-of-Spain, on Saturday.
PHOTO: CHARLES KONG SOO
$2.5B backpay by March 31
Monies will be available by
March 31 to settle outstanding
arrears for public servants who are
owed approximately $2.5 billion,
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
Rowley revealed this in Parliament
yesterday, replying to Opposition
questions on when the arrears would
be settled. He said the outstanding
total owed is $2.5 billion approxi-
mately, as some public servants had
been paid earlier.
Rowley said the Finance Minister
had given a commitment to find
the monies to pay the rest "in an
environment where there are sig-
The Finance Ministry has been
able to arrange a source of funds
---through borrowing---to ensure
monies concerning the outstanding
balance will be available by March
31, he added.
After March 31 however, Rowley
stressed it will depend on the abil-
ity of the various departments to
make the payments.
During yesterday's session, Attor-
ney General Faris Al-Rawi, piloting
the Indictable Offences Amendment
bill---abolishing preliminary inquiries
to expedite the justice system---said
up to 2015 there 142,000 cases
"T&T is in the middle of a long
story on crime, every crime, every
murder is one too much---recently
there's been serious and justified
focus on murders," Al-Rawi added.
While there are 2,033 lawyers,
there are only about 30 Criminal
Bar Association attorneys and nine
judges in the criminal court divi-
sions, he said.
Al-Rawi cited statistics of cases
from 2001 to 2002 from Arima to
Siparia. Figures ranged from indict-
able matters with an annual high
of 25,719 cases (Arima) to other
annual case numbers up to 11,000
for the other regions.
Up to July 2015 there were 29,090
matters at the magistrates' courts,
including 417 murders, 5, 788 arms/
ammunition matters and 3,597 sex-
ual offences cases. About 88 per
cent of cases were pending from
five years, he added.
Al-Rawi said the figure for dis-
posal of cases was far from the
outstanding total of cases.
Petrotrin loses $4.2b in 5 years
Also yesterday, Finance Minister
Colm Imbert, in a statement, said
it recently came to the Government's
attention that Petrotrin's refinery
operations had been unprofitable
for the past five years, from 2011 to
2016, "a matter that wasn't revealed
"Accumulated losses over the five-
year period in the refinery amount
to $4.2 billion. These losses haven't
previously been shown as such in
Petrotrin's accounts," Imbert said.
"In fact, rather than declaring
these losses, Petrotrin has been car-
rying them as a deferred tax asset,
to be written off against future
"Specifically, the treatment by
Petrotrin of accumulated losses in
the refinery as assets can no longer
"Under the prudence concept and
international financial reporting
standards, and most importantly, as
a result of its auditor's advice, Petro-
trin must now write off a significant
portion, if not all, of this $TT4.2
billion deferred tax asset in its 2016
He added, "As a result, Petrotrin
has for the first time told Govern-
ment that its audited losses for 2016
may in fact be of the order of $4.5
billion, rather than the previously
disclosed estimate of $600 million.
"It now falls to Government to
determine the reasons for this unac-
ceptable situation and to take the
necessary steps to deal responsibly,
pro-actively and professionally with
any adverse consequences that may
arise from this previously unreport-
ed loss of $4.5 billion."
Attorney General Farris Al-Rawi speaks during yesterday's sitting of
Parliament. At left is Finance Minister Colm Imbert and at right, Planning
Minister Camille Robinson-Regis.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
PM gives good news to public servants
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