Daily Brief - Thursday 8th October, 2020

TTMA IN THE NEWS

‘TT dollar a depreciating asset’

Executive chairman of professional services network, EY Caribbean, Wade George, said yesterday that some Trinidad and Tobago residents are preferring to hold their wealth as they believe the TT dollar is likely to depreciate in value over the next four years. Read more here

 

NEWS

Petroleum dealers feel liberated as State sells gas stations

Petroleum Dealers Association (PDA) president Robin Narayansingh is describing government’s decision to sell the gas stations operated by National Petroleum (NP) as liberation from the total dominance of the state-owned enterprise. Read more here

Union tells CAL to hold hand on sending employees home

The Aviation Communication and Allied Workers’ Union (ACAWU) has called for Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to suspend its cost-cutting exercises and instead wait for Finance Minister Colm Imbert to talk in Parliament about the situation facing the State-owned airline before making any decision. The T&T government owns 88.1 per cent of CAL. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Govt dragging on digitisation

Most of the work to ready TT for digitisation has long been done, said Congress of the People (COP) leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, flatly unimpressed with the Government’s plans for this to uplift the public and private sectors. The former public administration minister said the former People’s Partnership administration has undertaken a full Public Service Modernisation Programme called the Gold to Diamond Project. Read more here

Govt slashes $600 million from WASA allocation

The government has planned to reduce its yearly allocation to the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) by almost $600 million. The decline comes at a time when there is a Cabinet sub-committee set up to review the operations of the Authority to make critical changes amid unprofitability. Read more here

 

 

BUSINESS

Carib Brewery, the big brother of bars

Carib Brewery is like a big brother to bars, especially these days. Ever since the covid19 pandemic struck, forcing many bars to close or operate with no in-house customers, the brewery, as a 70-year elder in the beverage sector, has been helping owners, giving them advice on how to operate under the public health restrictions and on the ways to reinvent their businesses in time for when the economy fully reopens. Read more here

Gopee-Scoon: Tenants confirmed for Moruga Agro-Processing Park

Two tenants have already been confirmed for the Moruga Agro-Processing and Light Industrial Park and two more have been issued letters of offer, Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon has announced. Gopee-Scoon made the statement as she delivered the feature address at the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago’s post-budget webinar yesterday. “For the first time in history a very proud government has really committed to the expansion of this sector (agriculture), to the expansion of the food supply and this is to be achieved in five years and this has been placed at the top of our national policy agenda,” Gopee-Scoon said. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Energy cost to be slashed by 50 per cent

Government is committed to providing stable and reliable energy for both domestic and commercial purposes with the aim of reducing cost by at least 50 per cent over the next five years, Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips said on Wednesday. High on the agenda of the Government is to significantly upgrade the energy sector. Read more here

Gov't To Decide On Release Of Certain Prisoners In COVID Response

The Government will next week detail whether some inmates will be released from prison as part of its response to contain COVID-19. Some 23 people in the penal system have tested positive for the virus. Human rights group Stand Up for Jamaica has been calling for the release of low-risk prisoners near the end of their sentences. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump says he won't participate in next debate after commission announces it will be virtual

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will not participate in the second presidential debate with Joe Biden after the Commission on Presidential Debates said the event will be held virtually in the wake of the President's positive coronavirus diagnosis. "I am not going to do a virtual debate," Trump said on Fox Business. "I am not going to waste my time on a virtual debate." Read more here

Government to pay £2m to settle coronavirus testing case

The UK has agreed to settle a lawsuit over how it selected an IT contract for coronavirus testing at its Lighthouse labs. The BBC understands that the settlement will cost the government up to £2m. British company Diagnostics AI claimed it lost out to a European rival UgenTec despite spotting some positive coronavirus cases its rival missed. It sued the government over the decision, claiming the selection process was "unfair and unlawful". Lighthouse labs are a UK-wide network of specialist coronavirus laboratories managed by the government and run by private firms. When the labs were set up, companies pitched to analyse the test results. Read more here

8th October 2020

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