The National Carnival Commission (NCC) will continue to run the mas aspect of Carnival 2018 with the input of all mas stakeholders.
This was the assurance given by Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly in response to questions on whether the absence of a mas representative on the NCC board, at least until January, will pose a problem for the planning of Carnival 2018.
Last month, a new board was installed. It is, however, without a mas representative.
The TT Carnival Bands Association has initiated legal proceedings against the minister over which mas body should be on the board.
The TTCBA is also challenging a decision by the minister to give a short-term appointment to a representative of the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA).
President of the NCBA David Lopez had been given the short-term appointment in January, which ended on October 29.
Justice Joan Charles, who is presiding over the TTCBA lawsuit, is expected to give her decision on January 10.
The minister told Newsday that for 2016 and 2017, the NCC ran the mas aspect of Carnival with the input of all mas stakeholders.
“This is the approach that will take place for Carnival 2018,” she said.
She also added that the absence of a mas representative on the board “does not preclude the associations’ input being sought.”
“This will not stymie the mas aspect of Carnival 2018,” she insisted.
The minister also assured that in the present economic climate, the funds allocated for Carnival events, as well as any supplied to meet the recurrent expenditure of the SIGs (special interest groups) which sit on the board of the NCC, were being closely monitored, with mechanisms being put in place for their regularisation and streamlining.
“Every ministry has received budget reductions as the national budget is being brought in line with our economic reality. The funds allocated to Carnival would also be subject to that decrease as we strive to reduce wastage and do more with less,” she said.