Daily Brief - Wednesday 6th October, 2021

TTMA IN THE NEWS

We’re well aware businesses, individuals are struggling—Imbert

Finance Minister Colm Imbert yesterday defended his 2021/2022 Budget, saying that it was not as “draconian” as some people expected. Imbert was the guest speaker at the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturing Association’s (TTMA’s) post-Budget forum and said that the Budget was evidence that the Government was “listening” to all stakeholders. “It was clearly not what people expected it to be,” Imbert said. “If one looked at what is being said in the media, this supposed to be a draconian budget, but if one thinks about it very seriously a draconian budget would not have made any sense,” he said. Read more here

 

NEWS

Economist: Budget lacked transparency, accountability

Economist Marla Dukharan says the 2021/2022 Budget presentation lacked transparency and accountability because the country was not told how much money was collected, spent and borrowed in the last fiscal year. Speaking on Akash Vaani’s Morning Panchayat programme yesterday, Dukharan said she has never been so confused listening to a budget presentation. On Monday, Finance Minister presented a $52.4 billion budget in Parliament. “This is the first time in my life that I am aware that a Finance Minister has presented the budget where he has given his revenue estimates and his expenditure estimates and his deficit for this fiscal year starting October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022, but he has not given us any numbers for the last fiscal year,” Dukharan said. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Dookeran: Imbert's energy-sector estimates 'safe'

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the government was expecting a rebound in oil and gas prices by 2022. In delivering the 2021/2022 budget presentation on Monday afternoon he said budgeting within a medium-term economic framework was vital in maintaining fiscal and balance of payment discipline. The budget for fiscal year 2021/2022 was pegged against oil at US$65 per barrel and US$3.75 per mmbtu for gas. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Prestige Holdings’ reports $30.9 million loss

Prestige Holdings Limited, the parent company of several local popular food establishments including the KFC and Starbucks franchises, has recorded a loss of $30.9 million for the nine-month period ended August 31, 2021. For the same period, last year Prestige Holdings recorded a profit of $867,000. These figures are a stark contrast to the $26.58 million and the $21.07 million in profit Prestige Holdings made for the comparative period in 2019 and 2018 respectively. And it’s no surprise that the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant measures taken to stop its spread are being blamed for the change in fortunes. Read more here

BATT supports Govt’s post-Covid plan

The Bankers’ Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT) views the 2022 national budget’s focus on institutional building, key sectors’ enablement and ongoing social development as critical to the country’s recovery from the financial shocks of Covid-19. It said improvement in public service efficiency and acceleration of Tobago’s development as outlined in Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s budget on Monday were also crucial for Trinidad and Tobago’s recovery from the pandemic. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Economy grew by 14.5 per cent in first half of 2021

Guyana has recorded real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 14.5 per cent, and a growth of 4.8 per cent in the non-oil economy during the first half of this year, despite being faced with challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the devastating floods experienced from May to July. Due to the unprecedented floods, which impacted particularly the agriculture, forestry and mining sectors, along with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will spill over into the last half of this year and even beyond, the revised full-year forecast for real GDP growth in 2021 is now 19.5 per cent overall, and 3.7 per cent for the non-oil economy. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

China-Taiwan military tensions 'worst in 40 years'

Tensions with China are at their worst in 40 years, Taiwan's defence minister has said, warning of the risk of an accidental strike between the two. Chiu Kuo-cheng's comments came after China sent a "record number" of military jets into Taiwan's air defence zone for four consecutive days. Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state. China, however, views Taiwan as a breakaway province. It has not ruled out the possible use of force to achieve unification. While Chinese jets have not been flown all the way to the island, Mr Chiu warned that there was a risk of a "misfire". Read more here

6th October 2021

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