Daily Brief - Wednesday 16th March, 2022


Tobacco body discusses penalties for illicit trade

The first meeting of the Anti-Illicit Trade Taskforce’s working group on tobacco discussed several priority matters key to combating the illicit trade in the item locally. In a release, the working group said these included the estimation and identification of the trade locally, current high levels of taxation and key recommendations to address the issue, including reviewing and improving the enforcement of existing legislation; and implementing and increasing more robust penalties and fines for actors that don’t comply with the prohibitions under the Tobacco Control Act and Tobacco Control Regulations. Read more here

TTMA, CrimeStoppers continue battle against illicit tobacco trade

The crackdown on illicit tobacco trade has been taken to a new level following the first meeting of the Working Group on Tobacco, after its official formation at the Fifth Meeting of the Anti-Illicit Trade Taskforce (AITTF) held last month. The Working Group met on 14th March 2022, in a session that included representatives of the co-chair organisations Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) and Crime Stoppers Trinidad and Tobago, along with representatives from the Customs and Excise Division, Financial Intelligence Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries and representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Read more here



CSO: Retail prices fell 0.3% at end of 2021

The all items index of retail prices indicated a 0.3 per cent decrease in prices between November and December last year. The index, released on Tuesday by the Central Statistical Office gave a weighted average of proportionate changes of specific prices for consumer goods and services. Read more here

1,000 body cams now being distributed to cops—Hinds

The T&T Police Service (TTPS), which recently acquired an additional 1,000 more body cameras for use by officers, is currently distributing the equipment. This brings to 1,160 the total number of bodycams which the TTPS has and more will be acquired. National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds gave this information in the Senate yesterday. He was replying to a query from Independent Senator Paul Richards, who sought an update on the acquisition of body cameras for use by TTPS. Read more here



Gopee-Scoon: Trinidad Cement outside Government's remit

Government has no power to interfere in any internal matters at Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL), Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said in reply to a question from Opposition Senator Wade Mark in the Senate on Tuesday. Mark asked Gopee-Scoon whether the company was taking any steps to resolve concerns by current and former TCL workers over outstanding payments over the last seven years. Gopee-Scoon said, "TCL is a listed company on the TT Stock Exchange and has been privatised since 1990." Read more here

PM slams Lalla over online post on CoP merit list

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has fired back at attorney Larry Lalla over a video Lalla posted on his (Lalla’s) Facebook page, which contained a clip from a news conference in which Dr Rowley had denied having “anything to do with the relationship between the President and the Police Service Commission.” The post follows Dr Rowley’s admission on Monday that it was he who met with the former Police Service Commission chairman Bliss Seepersad, giving her information that ultimately led to the Police Commissioner merit list being pulled back. Read more here



Scotiabank T&T records first quarter profit of $185M

Scotiabank T&T Ltd has recorded an income after tax of $185 million for the quarter ended January 31, 2022. This was an increase of $39 million or 27 per cent over the quarter ended January 31, 2021. “In a continuation of the trend started in 2021, our financial performance continues to improve as we begin to see signs of recovery beginning to positively impact the local economy,” a statement to shareholders jointly signed by Scotiabank T&T’s chairman Derek Hudson and managing director Gayle Pazos stated yesterday. Read more here

Risky jobs, higher insurance premiums

Accidents at work are a common thing. Whether you work with heavy machinery or enjoy the perks of having a desk job, there are probable dangers around that can cause mild to serious injuries or even death. As with any profession, high-risk jobs are insured. But the terms and conditions of these policies are not the same. Read more here



No increase in water, electricity rates for consumers

Consumers in Guyana will not be forced to pay higher water and electricity rates stemming from the global surge in fuel prices because the government will be subsidising the increased fuel costs, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said on Tuesday. The increase in fuel prices, like the increased costs of food and other commodities, has been linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, the price surge has been exacerbated by the ongoing war in Ukraine. Both the pandemic and the war have led to supply chain disruptions and other adverse economic implications. Read more here



Zelensky to address Congress as US pledges $800m in military aid

Ukraine's president is expected to intensify pleas for Nato allies to help halt Russian attacks when he addresses the US Congress by video-link later. Volodymyr Zelensky is likely to repeat his request for a no-fly zone, in his latest speech to a national parliament. His address comes with President Joe Biden set to announce an extra $800m (£612m) in military aid to Ukraine. The money will go towards anti-armour and anti-aircraft weapons, such as Stingers and Javelins, US media report. The funding is covered by a spending bill on humanitarian, defensive and economic assistance to Ukraine that was approved by Congress last week. Read more here

16th March 2022


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