Panmen who were not paid their stipend for their appearance in the 2017 Panarama competition should be paid by the end of this month says National Carnival Commission (NCC) Chairman Kenny De Silva.
In response to Thursday’s Newsday article on panmen not being paid as yet, De Silva in a release issued on Thursday night said, “on the payment of the stipend for 2017, the NCC is also in the process of facilitating the issuing of the cheques which should be available for the pan players by the end of August 2017.”
Meanwhile, the NCC is denying that it owes Pan Trinbago the sum of $4.5 million. While the article does not say that the NCC owes Pan Trinbago $4.5 million, and Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz confirmed to Newsday yesterday that the NCC does not owe Pan Trinbago that sum, he said, it owes the pan players $4.5 million or even more.
What the NCC owes Pan Trinbago, Diaz said, is $1.8 million which is the 10 percent of prize monies paid to winners of Panorama 2017. The 10 percent is in keeping with Pan Trinbago’s constitution by which pan stakeholders abide by. That 10 percent, he said, has been withheld by the NCC. De Silva has given no reason for the withholding of the 10 percent.
Giving a background to its current involvement with Pan Trinbago, De Silva said, “Prior to the start of Panorama 2017 a conflict arose between Pan Trinbago and members of pan bands pertaining to their stipend for 2016” as they had not been paid their 2016 stipend.
To ensure that the players receive their money, the NCC agreed to advance $3.9 million to Pan Trinbago on the condition that the sum paid would be deducted from funds raised from 2017 Panorama ticket sales and from the 2017 Government allocation to Pan Trinbago.
De Silva said, “The NCC also agreed to, and has advanced monies to Pan Trinbago so that it could pay salaries and administrative expenditure on condition that those monies would be deducted from the revenue from 2017 ticket sales and the 2017 Government allocation. “Accordingly,” he said, “the NCC denies that it owes Pan Trinbago $4.5M.”