Daily Brief - Wednesday 7th October, 2020

TTMA IN THE NEWS

Competition will keep gas prices manageable

Finance Minister Colm Imbert expects that, even though the fuel subsidy will be removed come January, competition in the marketplace will help keep gas prices manageable. "Just go to another gas station," he said at the TT Manufacturers' Association post-budget forum at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain on Tuesday. "I'm sure there will be competition and if you go somewhere and you see the price too high, you’ll just go to another one." Read more here

 

NEWS

'Tobago must be more productive in 2021'

As the country grapples with the effects of the covid19 pandemic, People’s National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council political leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine says productivity will determine the island’s success in 2021. “Tobagonians have a new role to play as we grapple with the new norms,” she said. Read more here

New $300 million Sea Lots headquarters for TTPS

After 30 years, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is getting a new home. The proposed Abattoir Road, Sea Lots headquarters is estimated to cost close to $300 million. According to the Public Sector Investment Programme 2021 (PSIP) document released by the Ministry of Finance during Monday’s Budget, the project is being undertaken in an effort to save on rental cost in and around Port-of-Spain and to consolidate its key operations under one roof. Read more here

 

POLITICS

PM: Forex needed for medicine more than needed for cars

THE Prime Minister has responded to car dealers' complaints over measures in the budget negatively affecting the industry saying the use of foreign exchange (forex) to purchase medicine takes precedence over the purchase of vehicles. On Monday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced the removal of tax concessions on the importation of private vehicles and that the permissible age of imported foreign used cars will be reduced from four to three years, along with a reduction in the importation quota by 30 per cent. Read more here

PM: Govt won’t allow gas monopoly

Government will not allow the gas situation to become worse. This was the word from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday as gave assurances that the decision to privatise National Petroleum gas stations will not lead to a monopoly. “It will be very transparent and it will be very open. And if course we will not, nothing is reserved for anybody. Conglomerate or solitaire. The situation is that we will ensure that there is transparency in what we do. Nothing is reserved for anybody,” Rowley said following the opening of the new Diego Martin Health Centre in Diamond Vale. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Sale of NP stations and port privatisation long overdue, says PwC

The sale of gas stations owned by National Petroleum and the privatisation of the port of Port-of-Spain are two measures which are long overdue, Brian Hackett the Territory Leader of PwCTrinidad and Tobago has said. Hackett made the statement in the PwC’s budget memorandum titled Recover and Reset - 2020 and beyond. Read more here

Bankers view budget as responsive to challenges

The Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT) views the 2020/2021 national budget as responsive towards the challenges facing Trinidad and Tobago. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

MPs Spar Amid Claims Of Partisanship In Tablet Distribution For Students

There were charges and counter charges by parliamentarians on Tuesday over allegations of partisanship in the distribution of tablets to students on the government welfare initiative, the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH). Education Minister Fayval Williams implored members of the parliamentary Opposition not to politicise education, while her counterpart Angella Brown Burke cautioned the Government about turning education into a political football. Read more here

Telecommunication sector open for investment

Pime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, on Tuesday, handed over operational licences and accompanying documents to three service providers within the telecommunications sector. He declared that the sector was now liberalised and opened for investment. The documents were issued during a simple ceremony in the boardroom of the Office of the Prime Minister, to representatives of GTT, Digicel and E-Networks. Agents of the Public Utilities Commission and the Telecommunications Agency also received copies of the documents. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump's erratic behavior ignores worsening pandemic and its victims

A defiant President Donald Trump is chasing his own political goals while ignoring the human and economic toll of the pandemic, with his super spreader White House in chaos and top Pentagon generals in quarantine. With uncertainty still clouding official bulletins of the President's condition as he battles Covid-19, there is increasing bewilderment in Washington at some of his tone deaf and erratic moves since leaving the hospital on Monday. Trump suddenly blew up congressional negotiations on a Covid-19 economic rescue package. And in a fresh assault on public health strategies needed to quell a now-accelerating pandemic, Trump claimed falsely that it was no worse than the flu, as he portrays himself as a hero leader who conquered the virus. Read more here

Greece Golden Dawn: Neo-Nazi leaders guilty of running crime gang

After a trial lasting more than five years, the leadership of Greece's neo-Nazi party has been convicted of running a criminal organisation. Big crowds gathered outside the court in Athens as the judges gave verdicts on 68 defendants. Golden Dawn secured 18 MPs in 2012, as Greeks were battered by a financial crisis. The criminal inquiry into the party began with the murder of an anti-fascist rapper in 2013. Read more here

7th October 2020

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