AMID DOUBTS over funding for Carnival-related activities, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Nyan Gadsby-Dolly is denying there is a funding crisis at the National Carnival Commission (NCC).
She also defended her ministry’s decision not to release all the fundsto the NCC before Carnival, because the total sum is not for Carnival activities alone.
A release from the mnistry said, “Minister Gadsby-Dolly firmly denies any funding crisis at the commission and reiterates that “the NCC’s total allocation is not solely for the events of Carnival and therefore there is no requirement for the Commission to receive its total allocation before Carnival.”
The statement comes amid uncertainty over government allocations to finance regional Carnival activities.
Up until a few days ago, NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters said he had not received a cent from government for the various pan, mas and calypso bodies which oversee Carnival activities in the 14 regions.
He said these bodies were operating on “goodwill” borrowing to fund projects, with the promise to pay when the NCC disbursed funds.
In Parliament earlier this week, Gadsby-Dolly said in response to questions posed to her by the opposition, releases were made and a request for addition funding was being considered.
Yesterday, the minister confirmed that out of its approximately $130 million allocation, some $52 million has been released to the NCC to date.
The ministry’s statement said, “The NCC has made two requests for releases for 2019. NCC’s first request, for the sum of $25 million, was received by MCDCA on January 10, 2019.
“Within two weeks, the release was processed, and the full sum remitted to the NCC.
“In addition to this, the NCC received an additional sum of $27 million on Tuesday February 12, 2019, totalling $52 million provided to the Commission for fiscal 2019.
The MCDCA is also confirming that on Tuesday February 12, 2019, NCC made a second request for releases in the sum of $73 million.”
Gadsby -Dolly said her ministry will continue to work closely with the NCC to ensure that Carnival and all other activities for which the NCC is responsible are efficiently executed.
“Economic challenges notwithstanding, the NCC continues to be adequately resourced such that our Carnival experience is fulsome and enjoyable,” the statement ended.