WITH an anticipated lean 2020/21 budget expected to be delivered by Finance Minister Colm Imbert on October 5, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said he will be thankful for whatever is allocated to his ministry.
Like the fictional superhero Mr Fantastic (from Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four), who possesses the ability to stretch his body into any shape he desires, Sinanan said he will “stretch” whatever money comes his way.
During a visit to Gasparillo on Saturday to establish what may have caused last unprecedented flooding in the area recently, Sinanan said there are existing projects his ministry expects to continue with until completion.
Last year the ministry was given a budgetary allocation of $2.956 billion.
There are several big-money projects in various stages of completion, including the highway from San Fernando to Point Fortin, the road to Mayaro that would complement the port of Galeota, and Moruga.
“We have put forward a proposal, but we are cognisant of the fact that the country is going through a serious financial challenge. It is not TT alone, it’s the entire world. We have seen what has happened to energy prices, so we would be thankful for what ever we get in the budget and we would ensure that citizens get value for money as we have been doing for the last five years.”
As to whether there will be fewer new projects coming on stream in the next fiscal year, Sinanan said it all depends on the allocation.
“We would have put forward a programme and once the budget is read and we look at the allocation. We are a responsible ministry, and whatever money is allocated to us we would ensure that citizens get value for money and we stretch that money as far as possible to continue the existing projects.
He said the Point Fortin highway which suffered several set backs under the previous administration was scheduled for completion under this present administration by the end of 2020.
“However, we know what happened with covid19 pushing back that and all the construction projects. So, we are looking at sometime in 2021 to have that highway completed. Work is fully underway.