Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 4th 2014 Contents A29
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
No end to dump
The only reason government
rushed to put out the Beetham fires
was to clear the air for the energy
conference scheduled to take place at
the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
There are no plans to permanently
close the dump. There are no plans to
relocate the dump.
There are no plans to technologi-
cally upgrade the dump into an effi-
cient cost effective recycle facility.
If something like that is done the
stigma of thinking of
Laventille/Beetham residents as dis-
posable, thus unimportant, will shortly
evaporate like smoke.
Government who openly maligned
Beetham residents as the arsonists
who lit the fires now say, some 17
days later, that activities at the dump
are to return as it was for the "sake"
Their livelihood comes from rum-
maging through toxic dump trash---
medical waste, pharmaceuticals, rot-
ted food, debilitating chemicals and
metals. Government is okay with this.
There won't be any change in man-
agement. No installation of recycling
No upgrade in health and safety
No installation of technologies to
control and harness output of
methane gas given off by tons of de-
composing garbage at the dump.
Enough power was released in the
uncontrolled 12-day methane burn to
generate power to Beetham Gardens
for several weeks.
Will the energy conference people
speak about tapping into this technol-
No. Their agenda is to discuss profit
sharing in mainstream energy produc-
tion between themselves.
Meantime, the wastage of waste
and its valuable by-products is to stay
It's Your Write
There has been an ongoing
issue in our country that
appears to have eluded national
attention, one that I am hoping
that you, through your various
media formats, can bring to the
fore and shed some light on.
For some time now, members
of the public and business
community alike have been
experiencing grave difficulties in
accessing US$ currency from
the banking sector. The prob-
lem began surfacing at least six
months ago, if not more. Over
the past month or so however,
the problem has deteriorated
significantly and is a cause of
To exemplify, on a personal
level, if you have a US$ balance
owing on your credit card and
payment on that balance, the
bank is saying that they cannot
accept your payment as there is
a shortage of US$ currency.
On a business level, if you
request a wire transfer to pay
overseas suppliers, the wait can
be anywhere from three to six
weeks to receive the required
US$ funds from the banks.
It is from a business perspec-
tive that I am raising concern.
T&T has a robust import
industry that employs tens of
thousands of people directly,
many of whom enjoy well pay-
ing permanent jobs in the fields
of sales, marketing, merchan-
dising and accounting. Many
companies have worked hard
over the years to earn strong
credit ratings abroad to facili-
tate ease of doing business with
their foreign counterparts.
If as a business you cannot
have access to the most basic
trading commodity, ie currency,
how can you maintain, far less
grow your existing business?
How can you create or sustain
The obvious result will be
continued upward inflationary
pressure as importers seek to
increase profit margins to com-
pensate for the lack of avail-
ability of product and subse-
quent cost cutting through
layoffs and downsizing.
While we have a relatively
large manufacturing base in
Trinidad, there are still thou-
sands of products that are sim-
ply not manufactured locally for
which we rely on imports to
meet those demands.
Many of the raw materials
required in our local manufac-
turing industry are also import-
ed so the further possibility of
shortages in locally manufac-
tured products is inevitable.
The biggest problem in all
this is the deafening silence
from the Central Bank, and or
Ministry of Finance or Trade.
The banks only tell us that
Central Bank is not releasing
US$ currency.... that s it.
The question that I am urg-
ing you to ask is why? Why in
a country whose major contrib-
utor to GDP is the export of oil
and gas do we have such a
shortage of US$ currency?
Why for a country with such
a strong export market for its
products, regionally and inter-
nationally do we have such a
shortage of US$ currency?
(Surely they aren t paying us in
TT$!) Why the silence from
Central Bank, Government,
Manufacturer s Association,
T&T Chamber of Commerce?
Then, more importantly, what
is the government through its
macro economic policy and the
Central Bank through its moni-
tory policy doing to address the
systemic problem that created
this shortage and how are we
correcting it going forward?
As business people we need
to know! People s jobs are at
Banks loans are at stake.
Economic development is at
stake. Our reputations are at
Judy Kanhai, please investi-
gate on our behalf!
SHORTAGE OF US$
CURRENCY HURTING BUSINESS
I recently visited Toco beach after a couple of
months. I was shocked and disappointed to see it had
become a virtual shanty town. People have constructed
all manner of galvanise and wooden buildings to retail
One has a concrete structure, a bar, and is adding an-
other foundation to expand. We were parked next to
this place and had to move because the music was so
loud. Whatever happened to going to the beach for
some peace and quiet and to listen to the waves?
Finding another decent spot was an issue because
these buildings now occupy valuable parking spaces.
If the relevant authorities are unaware, I want to urge
them to quickly go to Toco, or Salybia beach as the new
sign reads and stop construction of these illegal eye-
sores. If this is allowed to continue it will encourage
even more people to come and the authorities will have
a hard time removing them all because everybody, it
will then be said, has to "eat ah food." There are too
many other legal ways to earn a living in this country.
Please bring Toco beach back to the beautiful, scenic
beach it was.
Toco beach turning into a shanty town
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