Daily Brief - Wednesday 3rd April, 2019

TTMA IN THE NEWS

Costelloe new TTMA head

Franka Costelloe is the new president of the TT Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA). She replaces Christopher Alcazar, who served for the last two years. Costelloe is a director of several major boards and organisations, including her family’s company, Lifetime Roofing Ltd, a manufacturer, distributor and contractor that specialises in metal and flat roof waterproofing. Read more here

Recession Done

TT is no longer in a recession. Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon made this statement as she addressed the TT Manufacturers Association’s (TTMA) annual general meeting at the Hilton Trinidad yesterday. She thanked outgoing TTMA president Christopher Alcazar for the association’s partnering with Government while the country was “deep in the throes of the recession.” Gopee-Scoon said, “We are out of the recession. We have had some small growth for 2018.” Gopee-Scoon said Government was hoping to build on that growth this year. She said manufacturing contributed just over over $32 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A recession is when an economy declines significantly for at least six months. A recession also happens when the GDP growth rate is negative for two consecutive quarters or more. Read more here

 

NEWS

Bridge burnt at Gobin Village

Three days after an attempt was made to burn down a wooden bridge in Gobin Village, Princes Town, a deliberately set fire destroyed it earlier today, making the road impassable to hundreds of residents. None of the residents who Newsday met with took responsibly for the incident which happened on Buen Intent Road near Samaroo Drive. Some speculated that it was done to highlight the bridge’s deplorable condition while others believed there was no need to destroy it given that it was old but functional. Read more here

Port to be dredged for new ferry's arrival

Be­fore the new­ly-leased Jean De La Valette fer­ry ar­rives in T&T, there will have to be dredg­ing of the wa­ters off the Port of Port-of-Spain. This was re­vealed by Port Au­thor­i­ty of T&T (PATT) chair­man Lyle Alexan­der yes­ter­day. "When­ev­er a ves­sel is not de­signed for your port....need­less to say there will have to be ad­just­ments made to ac­com­mo­date the ves­sel. We have to ac­com­mo­date the ramp, so works sim­i­lar to what was done for the Galleons Pas­sage will have to be made for this ves­sel." Read more here

 

POLITICS

Kamla calls Faris greedy

Apart from demanding that the Prime Minister call elections now, Kamla Persad-Bissessar also called for the immediate dismissal of the Attorney General whom she strongly criticised regarding the renewal of the controversial lease on a building owned by his relatives. Speaking at the Monday night forum at the Rio Claro East Secondary School at Clear Water last night, the Opposition Leader said people "are catching their nenens" and accused the Government of having no care for poor people. "So, they have no money to keep Petrotrin running, no money to keep the workers at TSTT, they have no money. You know what they money for? They seem to have a lot of money to rent a building from the Attorney General to pay $23 million in a contract— they have plenty of money for that," Persad-Bissessar told supporters. Read more here

Mark, Sinanan clash over new ferry

A war of words oc­curred yes­ter­day out­side the Sen­ate, as Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress Sen­a­tor Wade Mark in­sist­ed Gov­ern­ment’s planned Jean de La Valette ves­sel is de­fec­tive and the lease must be can­celled and Works and Trans­port Min­is­ter Ro­han Sinanan de­fend­ed the lease, dis­miss­ing Mark’s claims. “If the ev­i­dence on this ves­sel con­forms to the re­ports we’ve found on de­fec­tive­ness, Gov­ern­ment must can­cel this arrange­ment AS­AP be­cause pas­sen­gers’ safe­ty is para­mount,” Mark told re­porters. But Sinanan said if the ves­sel was de­fec­tive it wouldn’t have been op­er­at­ing in Eu­rope un­der laws there and if it had been in­volved in pre­vi­ous ar­bi­tra­tion, it wasn’t Gov­ern­ment’s con­cern. Mark sum­moned re­porters to the cor­ri­dor out­side the Par­lia­ment cham­ber soon af­ter Sinanan, dur­ing the Sen­ate sit­ting, ac­cused Mark of spread­ing “fake news” about the ves­sel. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Imbert: 70 parties eyeing refinery

Seventy interested parties consisting of a “wide spectrum of companies in the energy sector” have expressed an interest in the lease or purchase of the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

$9m Probe - MOCA Investigates Possible Breaches In Petrojam Donation

Lionel Myrie has been fingered as the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) director who submitted a sponsorship request to Petrojam from a reportedly unregistered citizens’ group that ended up with a $9-million donation being disbursed from the state-owned oil refinery. The donation is now being probed by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency. The disclosure by executives at Petrojam comes months after an audit conducted by the Auditor General’s Department (AGD) raised questions about possible breaches of the refinery’s sponsorship policy. As an example, the audit found that on April 24, 2017, a group referred to as ‘Citizens’ Association #1’ sought assistance from Petrojam for a community project and asked that payment be made directly to the contractor it had hired. Read more here

Guyana part of regional study on substituting refined sugar with “plantation white”

Guyana is among four sugar-producing Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member nations that will be the focus of a regional study on the prospects of substituting imported refined sugar with plantation white, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) said Tuesday. The Barbados-headquartered financial institution says it is collaborating with CARICOM to gather evidence to decide on the future of sugar in the regional trade bloc. CDB says it will provide a grant of US$97,488 to fund a technical study on the substitutability of plantation white for refined sugar in the Region’s manufacturing sector. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

A Brexit war is looming in Theresa May's Conservative party

Theresa May has finally made a decision. And it's not one her hard-Brexit allies will like. The Prime Minister has recognized what many have been saying for weeks -- that there's no majority for her deal in Parliament. In offering talks with the opposition Labour Party -- and, crucially, offering to accept the result of any vote in Parliament for an alternative Brexit plan -- May has also recognized that she will never be able to persuade her supposed allies in the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, nor a hard core of Brexiteers in her own Conservative Party. Read more here

Brunei implements stoning to death under new anti-LGBT laws

Brunei is introducing strict new Islamic laws that make anal sex and adultery offences punishable by stoning to death. The new measures, that come into force on Wednesday, also cover a range of other crimes including punishment for theft by amputation. The move has sparked international condemnation. Brunei's gay community has expressed shock and fear at the "medieval punishments". "You wake up and realise that your neighbours, your family or even that nice old lady that sells prawn fritters by the side of the road doesn't think you're human, or is okay with stoning," one Bruneian gay man, who did not want to be identified, told the BBC. The sultan of the small south-east Asian nation on Wednesday called for "stronger" Islamic teachings. Read more here

3rd April 2019

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