Daily Brief - Monday 14th March, 2022

TTMA IN THE NEWS

Working group on illicit tobacco meets on Monday

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has said the first meeting of the Anti-Illicit Trade Task Force’s working group on tobacco will take place on Monday. Speaking at the ribbon-cutting and recommissioning of the secondary manufacturing plant at the West Indian Tobacco Company (Witco), Champs Fleurs, on Friday, Gopee-Scoon said the working group would estimate the current level of illicit trade in tobacco in TT, identify enablers of illicit trade locally, review the current level of taxation and its potential to incentivise illicit trade nationally, and develop recommendations for execution to combat illicit trade in tobacco in TT. Read more here

 

NEWS

Five rescued after boat sinks: 'God saved us from drowning'

Five fishermen are thanking God for sparing their life after their boat sank on Saturday night while on a fishing expedition on board Crystal Eye, on the west coast of Tobago. According to reports, the 55-foot trawler with 350 hp engine, captained by James Kirwan, and owned by Christopher Ragbir, began taking in water around 7pm near the marine border with Grenada. The men on board were Kirwan, 59; Kyle Dyer, 31; Azim Baksh, 35; Keston Frederick, 36; and Jerome Nicome, 63. Read more here

Trini heads to Ukraine for freedom fight

Nearly 20,000 foreign volunteers have signed up to fight in war-torn Ukraine against Russia’s invasion. United National Congress activist and business development consultant Brian Stone is one of the volunteer combatants who is now prepared to battle side-by-side with Ukrainians for freedom against Russian President Vladimir Puttin’s invading army. Stone will be T&T’s first volunteer to fight in Ukraine’s frontline if he achieves his goal. “This decision did not come from the brain but from my heart,” Stone admitted in a telephone interview to Guardian Media. “So far, it is a go. You have to look at it for what it is.” Read more here

 

POLITICS

UNC MPs hit Government over food price rise: Roadmap to hardship

A Day after the UNC's Women's Arm led a group of women in a protest in Penal over the acute spike in food prices, St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen attacked government’s post-covid19 plan known as the Roadmap to Recovery, describing it as a failed political stunt. Government’s failure to ensure food security even as the country enters the endemic phase of the virus, Ameen said, was akin to it waging war on the country especially women including single mothers. Read more here

UNC challenges Cabinet to live on $2,000 monthly grant

The United National Congress (UNC) has challenged Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his Cabinet to attempt to survive on the monthly grants given to pensioners and disabled persons. The challenge was issued by St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen and Chaguanas East MP Vandana Mohit during the Opposition’s weekly media briefing yesterday. Ameen said: “I challenge any government minister to try to survive on a $2,000 disability grant. Put yourself on what a pensioner or a disability grant recipient gets and then let us have a real review about social welfare programmes.”  Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Babwah wants restrictions removed on hybrid vehicles

TT Automotive Dealers Association (TTADA) president Visham Babwah is calling for the immediate removal of import taxes on hybrid electric vehicles, saying its removal may be the only financial reprieve the middle and lower class will have as fuel prices as well as other prices sky-rocket worldwide. He said on Sunday that he was happy the Prime Minister is “finally seeing the light” since during the Conversations with the Prime Minister forum last Tuesday, Dr Rowley spoke of having all public transport vehicles go fully electric. Babwah noted this change would not happen overnight. Read more here

IMF: T&T dollar overvalued by 20.4

The real effective exchange rate (REER) of the T&T dollar implies that it is overvalued by 20.4 per cent, according to one of two models used by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to assess the competitiveness of the domestic currency. The real effective exchange rate is a measure of the value of a currency against a weighted average of several foreign currencies) divided by a price deflator or index of costs. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Rose Hall Estate 51 per cent complete 

With the work programmes reflecting a 51 per cent completion status of works necessary for the re-opening of the Rose Hall Estate, East Canje, Berbice and 1,200 plus persons recruited to date, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GuySuCo, Sasenarine Singh, is confident the targeted 2023 start date for grinding can be achieved. In an interview with the Guyana Chronicle while touring the Rose Hall, Albion and Blairmont cultivation fields on Friday, the CEO of the largest single employer in Guyana said that, despite the major setbacks affecting manufacturing industries worldwide over the past two years, the factory is still on track for opening next year. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Ukraine crisis: US warns China against helping Russia

China will face consequences if it helps Russia evade sanctions in its invasion of Ukraine, the US says. Unnamed US officials reportedly told multiple news outlets that Russia had asked China to provide military assistance after it began the invasion. The Chinese foreign ministry did not address the allegation directly, but accused the US of maliciously spreading disinformation about China. The exchanges come before top US and Chinese officials meet in Rome. US media outlets, citing Washington officials, say that Russia has in recent days asked China specifically for military equipment, including drones. Read more here

 

14th March 2022

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