Daily Brief - Thursday 22nd September, 2022

TTMA IN THE NEWS

TTMA calls for growth of SME sector

The T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) wants Government to further the growth of the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector as part of its recommendations for the country’s 2022/2023 fiscal package which will be announced next Monday. The organisation’s president Tricia Coosal who described SMEs as the engine for growth in any economy, emphasised the importance for Government to promote non-energy growth. “In our efforts to diversify and stabilise the economy against future fluctuations in energy prices, the non-energy sector becomes significantly more important to T&T’s stability,” Coosal told the Business Guardian. Coupled with this, earning foreign exchange is critical. Read more here

 

NEWS

Charlotte Street vendors explain rising produce costs

A Sangre Grande vendor is painfully aware of increasing food prices, but is looking at the bigger picture. He does not believe the rising costs of goods is unique to Trinidad and Tobago. He waxed philosophical on Tuesday. "I feel is global, inno, I ain't feel is we alone. Because we not in Russia, and Russia is the same thing like we. We suffering, Russia suffering, Guyana suffering, everybody suffering." Read more here

Pennywise Plaza employees return to work, but still traumatised

Life has changed for the employees of Pennywise Plaza as they returned to work for the first time since Monday’s horrific shooting. But while police stepped up patrols and counsellors were on hand to speak to affected workers, the employees say they remained traumatised by the fatal robbery. Security officer Chris Nicholas said no longer could he do his job in the same way. “It is a different time now. We have to watch everything because we never know what will happen,” Nicholas said. His eyes glistened with tears as he recalled how he ran inside and took cover when over 100 bullets rang out, shattering the peace. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Eversley calls on Chief Sec to respond to allegations of impropriety

Former Red House hostage Wendell Eversley is calling on THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine to respond to allegations of wrongdoing and impropriety within his administration. At a news conference last Thursday, in which he announced his resignation as Deputy Chief Secretary, Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke alleged that there was corruption within the THA to favour Trinidad contractors. Augustine has since denied the allegation and said he plans to sue Duke. He said he is consulting with his attorneys, one of whom is a King’s Counsel. Read more here

THA executive considers forming new political party amid PDP debacle

Two days after Chief Secretary Farley Augustine said that he nor anyone on his behalf has visited the Election and Boundaries Commission (EBC) comes word that the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) executive is not ruling out forming a new political party. Speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew yesterday, newly installed Deputy Chief Secretary Dr Faith B Yisrael said they are currently consulting supporters before making a decision. “We are talking to individuals on the ground, we are looking at what is transpiring and we will make a decision based on what we think is absolutely best for Tobago. That means, you know, it may mean getting to the direction of going to form another party,” she said. However, Dr B Yisrael made it clear that rumours that they have already created a new party are not true. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Agriculture stakeholders: Level the field for small farmers

With an average food import bill of more than $5 billion and global shocks increasing the prices of not just imported food but raw materials to produce food locally, it would not be a surprise if reducing the food bill was one of the priorities of Government in the budget on Monday. While many strides have been made by Caricom to reduce the food import bill – there’s the plan to cut imports by 25 per cent by 2025 – through the development of support systems in the region, including a series of expos which connected technocrats with farmers and food producers, locally, farmers still struggle. Prices of materials, a lack of equipment and difficulty in accessing support because of bureaucratic policies are keeping farmers – especially those small farmers who occupy less than 20 acres of land and farmers without registration – from producing at their optimum. Read more here

BG View: Is a deputy essential?

On Monday the world looked on as Queen Elizabeth II took her final journey. Following a state funeral and procession, Britain’s longest-serving monarch was laid to rest alongside her late husband Prince Philip at a private family service in the King George VI Memorial Chapel. This was the culmination of almost two weeks of mourning which was sparked by the death of the 96-year-old monarch on September 8. Up until the time of her passing Queen Elizabeth II insisted on carrying out her role. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Re-examine financing gaps, debt portfolio of developing countries

President, Dr. Irfaan Ali has implored global leaders to address the financing gap between the developed world and developing countries, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic and other interlocking global challenges have widened the gap of inequality. Dr. Ali, in his firm address to the United Nations General Assembly, said climate challenges, energy and food crises and inter-state conflicts are among the issues which have led to a loss in revenues and income in the developing world, which, in some cases, had earmarked those funds for initiatives that would help in the achievement of many Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Ukraine war: Russia arrests hundreds as call-up sparks protests

Russian police are reported to have arrested hundreds of protesters rallying against the Kremlin's decision to call up thousands of extra troops to fight in Ukraine. Russian human rights group OVD-Info put the total at more than 1,300. The largest numbers arrested were in St Petersburg and Moscow. Dozens were held in Irkutsk and other Siberian cities, and Yekaterinburg. Flights out of Russia sold out fast after Vladimir Putin's announcement. Pictures on social media showed long queues at border posts, and on Google, the search for "how to leave Russia" skyrocketed. Russia's president ordered a partial mobilisation, meaning some 300,000 military reservists - but not conscripts - will be drafted to bolster Russia's forces who have suffered recent battlefield reverses in Ukraine. Read more here

22nd September 2022

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