Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 11th 2013 Contents RESHMA RAGOONATH
Former president of the Travel Agents
Association Wayne Rodriguez says the
Government s removal of Caribbean Air-
lines s $50 million fuel subsidy is just a
front to make more cash injections to
keep the national carrier afloat.
Rodriguez, chairman of Chartours Inter-
national Ltd and owner of Four Seasons
Travel Service, was responding to Finance
Minister Larry Howai s announcement in
the budget that CAL s fuel subsidy would
Howai said on Monday that the removal
of the fuel subsidy would not affect the
ticket-pricing policy and Government
would continue to subsidise the Tobago
Yesterday, however, Rodriguez said what
Howai has done in this budget by removing
the fuel subsidy "is to pacify not only the
governments of the Caribbean, but the
United States as well."
He added that the removal of the subsidy
was the Government s response to pressure
from the US and Caribbean countries.
Rodriguez said with no fuel subsidy,
questions raised about the fuel prices CAL
enjoyed would be silenced.
"Instead of giving them a fuel subsidy,
they are now going to give them a cash
injection, and those cash injections will
continue and will replace what we know
as the fuel subsidy. It is just that," he said.
"It will not be called a fuel subsidy. They
are not fooling anybody, they are not fooling
He said cash injections would continue
to be made to CAL to keep it afloat.
Rodriguez said he does not expect a ticket
price increase because of the removal of
the fuel subsidy, since CAL ticket prices
are already expensive.
"They are offering (prices) which I con-
sider to be high at this time," he said.
"Over the summer, in June, July, August,
their fares were extremely high, not to
mention the Caribbean---those fares were
"I cannot see them increasing fares. To
increase fares now would mean very, very
few people travelling."
Rodriguez complained that Liat and
Caribbean Airlines have always taken
advantage of their regional positions.
"They both have been taking advantage
of the travelling public throughout the
Caribbean," he said.
"There is no need for these fares to be
this high, since they have held the monop-
oly, both Liat and Caribbean Airlines prices
have been high and unjustified in my book."
He lamented that if CAL sticks to its Air
Jamaica deal it would continue to be a
"drain on the Treasury."
"The Air Jamaica deal is a very bad deal
and it will continue to be a very bad deal,"
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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for 10th SEPTEMBER, 2013
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The largest decrease in recurrent expenditure
in ministries was in the Labour Ministry.
The Finance Ministry s estimates included
a 2014 figure of $199.8 million for contracted
services. These were listed as analytical services
(involving Standards and Poors and Moody s),
legal counsel and advisory services, operating
cost for its fitness centre, World Bank advisory
services, ministry consultants, occupational
health and safety matters and "monitoring of
radio and TV stations."
The Finance Ministry s category in the doc-
ument showed a 2014 estimate for the GATE
fund of $650 million.
Cost of the Accident Victims consolidated
fund announced in the budget is also $158.2
million within the Finance Ministry.
In the Office of the Prime Minister, estimates
of recurrent expenditure include remuneration
to the chairman and members of commissions
of enquiry in the sum of $8 million.
Expenses of the Prime Minister s estab-
lishment are also listed as $24 million and
OPM security services, $16 million.
Under National Security, recurrent expen-
diture estimates in 2014 for the Morvant
Laventille Initiative is $26 million---a $1.3 mil-
lion decrease over the 2013 figure.
In Education, recurrent expenditure esti-
mates include repayment of a loan and interest
regarding the procurement of laptops in 2010
in the sum of $23.1 million.
In Local Government, transfers to regional
entities in terms of estimates of 2014 recurrent
expenditure are: Port-of-Spain ($221.2 million),
San Fernando ($126.9 million), Arima ($76.4
million), Point Fortin ($64.5 million), Chagua-
nas ($91.4 million), Diego Martin ($92.1 mil-
lion), San Juan/Laventille ($176.2 million),
Tunapuna/Piarco ($188 million), Sangre Grande
($83.5 million), Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo
($114.9 million), Mayaro/Rio Claro ($84.5 mil-
lion), Siparia ($80 million), Penal-Debe ($72.5
million) and Princes Town ($83.9 million).
Estimates of recurrent expenditure for the
Health Ministry s regional health authorities
are: North West ($702.3 million); Eastern
($293.6 million); North Central ($731.6 mil-
lion) and South West ($773.5 million).
Govt ploy to inject
more $$ into CAL
Travel agent on fuel subsidy removal:
Amanda Diaz and Marcus
Thomas are all smiles after
becoming the first couple
to receive an electronic
marriage certificate during
a ceremony at the Ministry
of Legal Affairs, Port-of-
Spain, yesterday. Minister
Prakash Ramadhar said
the e-certificates were the
final step to the civil
registry going digital.
Ramadhar said the public
14 registration centres
based in regional
corporations around the
country to obtain
certificates, which now
take a mere five minutes
PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
for GATE programme
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