CULTURE Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly says the National Carnival Commission (NCC) has requested a further $73 million for Carnival 2019.
She was responding to an urgent question in Senate yesterday.
She said, as is customary, funds were released to the NCC by request to the Finance Ministry.
“Recently within the last two weeks $25 million was requested and released and another request has been made today (Tuesday) for another tranche of money to be released for Carnival celebrations. And it certainly will be processed as expeditiously as possible and released to the NCC.”
Newsday was informed the NCC requested $73.8 million and, of that, the total grants for regional bodies is approximately $6 million. NCC has so far requested about $99 million of the total allocation of $139 million, leaving a balance of about $40 million.
Mark asked why the NCC chairman (Winston “Gypsy” Peters) had said he made advances to the relevant authorities but still funds were not being released.
Gadsby-Dolly responded: “That would make me accountable for somebody else’s statements.
I am not sure I can explain exactly why the chairman would say that. It is not within my remit not being in the chairman’s mind at the time of those utterances.”
Mark in another urgent question asked about measures to keep visitors safe with the expected increase in the number of tourists arriving for Carnival and with the fact that some tourists have become victims of crime.
Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat, speaking on behalf of the Government, said the Police Service and other arms of national security have been planning for safety and security issues associated with Carnival for the past few months as is done on an annual basis.
“The TT Police Service deals with the additional inflow of tourists for Carnival on an annual basis and has sufficient experience to plan for and deal with the issues surrounding additional tourists during this period.
“There is always greater presence of police officers and TT Defence Force personnel during the Carnival period and this year it will be no different.
“Threat assessments are continuously being done and operations for Carnival are always being fine tuned.”
Rambharat said the TT Police Service has been liaising with Carnival party promoters and Carnival band promoters to implement safety and security measures specific to these particular events and parades.