Daily Brief - Wednesday 1st June, 2022

NEWS

PM: Natural gas will continue to drive economy

The Prime Minister said on Tuesday the Government wished to reduce its subsidy of gasoline, but amid a shift to electricity being used to power public transport. Dr Rowley gave the feature address at the opening of the three-day TT Energy Conference held by the Energy Chamber at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain. He said TT's commitment to a 30 per cent drop in public transport carbon emissions by 2030 was an opportunity to reduce or eliminate the fuel subsidy, amounting to $23 billion in the past ten years and now at $142 million per month. He recalled recent cuts in subsidies – premium gasoline (52 per cent), super gasoline (38 per cent), kerosene (31 per cent) and diesel 11 per cent). Read more here

CWU gets court stay as TSTT plans to cut 468 workers

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has obtained a stay on the retrenchment for 468 Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) workers who were given retrenchment notices by the State-owned company yesterday. CWU secretary general Clyde Elder said the union sought an injunction after receiving a letter from TSTT, together with a flash drive containing over 3,400 pages of notices to members that they were effectively retrenched from June 1. He said the union argued that the move by TSTT was not in compliance with the laws of T&T and with proper industrial relations practices, and that the court agreed just before 8 pm on Tuesday to grant the stay of retrenchment. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Browne: No need to probe Vikab Engineering on Port of Spain hospital project

Launching an investigation into Vikab Engineering Consultants Ltd would be premature and not necessary, said Senate leader of government business Dr Amery Browne. In the Senate on Tuesday, he responded to a question from Opposition Senator Wade Mark about the allegations surrounding the company, including the claim by the Shanghai Construction Group that Vikab was responsible for stalling the $1.1 billion Port of Spain General Hospital (PoSGH) project. Browne said it was customary for contractors and consultants to blame each other when project issues arose, especially when contracts were terminated. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Women making waves in the energy industry

There were seven people on the stage when the Energy Conference held its “Next Generation Leaders” panel discussion yesterday. Only one was a man. This, however, was not planned. It was the response from some of the key Chief Executive Officers in the energy industry when asked to send their organisation’s next leader. Read more here

Severe food insecurity up by 72% in two years

The Caribbean is at a tipping point for food security. It’s dependence on food imports is fuelling its food insecurity. And while economies across the region are reopening and trying to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, food security is impacted by the dual blow of the shipping crisis and by the Russia-Ukraine war. “Promoting recovery and food security will be paramount against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis. While the full range of implications remains uncertain, repercussions are expected to be felt widely, including in the Caribbean,” a report, done by Caricom and the World Food Programme (WFP) in February noted. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Mined out sand pits could be used for berry cultivation

President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, on Monday, said that the government has received proposals for the cultivation of grapes, strawberries and other berries in mined out sand pits along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway. The President, in making this disclosure at the launch of Demerara Bank’s “Farmers’ Credit Line,” said that these proposals were made following Guyana’s inaugural Agri-Investment Forum and Expo. The Head of State said that those offers came after investors saw the “ripe potential” to grow grapes, a fruit with high import earnings, locally. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Ukraine war: US to send longer-range rockets in latest aid package

The US will send Ukraine more advanced rocket systems to help it defend itself, President Biden has announced. The weapons, long requested by Ukraine, are to help it strike enemy forces more precisely from a longer distance. Until now, the US had refused the request out of fear the weapons could be used against targets in Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the US was "directly and intentionally adding fuel to the fire" with its weapons deliveries to Ukraine. Separately, the German government has promised to send an air defence system to Ukraine. Read more here

1st June 2022

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