Daily Brief - Tuesday 6th October, 2020

TTMA IN THE NEWS

TTMA happy Govt heeded advice

The TT Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) says government's plan to privatise certain state entities such as gas stations and the port of Port of Spain shows it is listening and responsive to recommendations from the business community. The association's president Franka Costelloe added in a press release – shortly after Finance Minister Colm Imbert's budget presentation on Monday – that it is cautious on the issue of tax waivers on imported building materials, saying it has to seek clarity on how this will affect  manufacturers of local building material. Read more here

TTMA happy port to be privatised

The T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) says is it is pleased that Finance Minister Colm Imbert intends to privatise some State enterprises, saying this has been “a primary lobbying” issue by the association. “The proposed privatisation of ports and the new personal income ceiling reflects Government is listening and responsive to recommendations from the business community,” TTMA President Franka Costelloe said in a statement yesterday. Read more here

 

NEWS

Personal hotspots for 45,000 students in rural areas

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert said the government will distribute personal hotspot devices, using 3G and 4G mobile phone network, to be shared among mobile devices such as smart phones, laptops and tablets. He was speaking during the budget presentation for the fiscal year 2021 in the House of Representatives. Read more here

Stakeholders see uncertainty in energy sector

Even as Finance Minister Colm Imbert boasts that Government negotiations with key energy partners has put T&T’s energy sector on a “more solid and sustainable footing,” stakeholders are not sure how it will execute plans for the industry amidst low petrochemical prices. During yesterday’s presentation of the 2021 Budget, Imbert said T&T would continue to be in an attractive location for investment in the oil sector for years to come. Read more here

 

POLITICS

MSJ: ‘Same old, same old’ budget does not provide hope

Leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah says the 2020/2021 national budget “does not provide hope” for the people of TT. He also says clarity is needed in several areas. Abdulah had described the previous budget as an “election budget” disguised as a “papier-mache piñata” with sweets. This time around, he said he heard a lot of talking, but not much detail on how the government intends to achieve some of its plans and claims. Read more here

Imbert covers all in $49b Budget package

A mixed Budget bag for another challenging year. Freeze on public sector hiring, VAT on apples and so-called “luxury” foods, curb on vehicle importation, mandatory Property Tax information—and possible WASA and T&TEC rate hikes ahead. But also: people earning $7,000 and less won’t be paying tax, free laptops and Mi-Fi devices for needy students and a slew of incentives to expand technology business and jobs for youths. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Chaguanas, Couva Chambers cautious about 2021

President of the Chaguanas Chamber of Commerce, Vishnu Charran, said while some promises were made to alleviate the plight of low-income earners in the 2020/2021 national budget, that is going to be taken away with increased food prices and the implementation of the property tax in 2021. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Flash Flood Watch Remains In Place For All Parishes

The Meteorological Service has continued the flash flood watch for low-lying and flood-prone areas of all parishes. It remains in place until 5:00 p.m. The met office says the tropical depression that is south of Jamaica has now developed into Tropical Storm Delta. At 7:00 a.m., the centre of Tropical Storm Delta was located near latitude 16.4 degrees North, longitude 78.4 degrees West, or about 210 kilometres south of Negril, Jamaica. Read more here

Telecommunications sector liberalised

GOVERNMENT has issued Commencement Orders fully bringing into force the Telecommunications Act 2016 (the “Act”) and the Public Utilities Commission Act 2016, Prime Minister, Mark Phillips announced last night. The orders, which occurred within two months of the government assuming office, the Prime Minister said are historic as they align Guyana’s telecommunications regime to those found in other countries the world over, including most Caribbean countries. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump mounts bizarre and misleading White House return despite warnings

A strongly medicated President Donald Trump bolted from his VIP hospital bubble Monday, staging a bizarre White House comeback that included an irresponsible mask removal and a reckless pronouncement there is nothing to fear from Covid-19, which has already killed 210,000 Americans. His actions show him, if anything, entrenched deeper in denial over the virus than ever before and more committed to trashing scientific protocols that could slow the pandemic. Read more here

Kyrgyzstan election: Sunday's results annulled after mass protests

The electoral authorities in Kyrgyzstan have annulled the results of parliamentary elections following violent protests. Demonstrators broke into parliament overnight and clashed with police, demanding a new vote be held. Hundreds were injured and one person has died, the Health Ministry said. The move by the electoral commission came soon after President Sooronbai Jeenbekov accused "political forces" of trying to illegally seize power. Protests broke out after only four political parties out of 16 passed the threshold for entry into parliament in Sunday's election. Three of the four have close ties to President Jeenbekov. Read more here

6th October 2020

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