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‘First-quarter revenue up’

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

There was an increase in Trinidad and Tobago’s revenue for the first quarter of the 2014 fiscal year, says Finance Minister Larry Howai.
In responding to questions at the Senate sitting on Wednesday, Howai disclosed the overall revenue collected for the period October 1, 2013, to January 31, 2014, was greater than the amount anticipated.
He said the projected revenue to be collected was $15.644 billion and the actual amount collected was $18.742 billion.
Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi questioned whether this increase came from the energy sector or non-energy.
Howai said it was a combination of both.
“First of all, there was of course the famous or infamous First Citizens IPO (initial public offering) which we collected $1 billion; there was increased dividends from the energy State enterprise sector; and in fact in all of the other areas of our total reve­nue stream we actually showed positive variances.”
Howai also disclosed the total proposed loans for 2013 to 2015 amounted to $6.6 billion.
He said approximately $3.1 billion relates to external borrowing and $3.5 billion to domestic borrowing.
He said the rate of external borrowing was then increased to $3.5 billion and the domestic borrowing was in the process of being evaluated.
Howai said there were no shortfalls since the start of the fiscal year 2013-2014.
He said the total of debt stock will go up to $6.6 billion.
The minister added currently the debt-to-GDP ratio was 40.6 per cent expected for this year, and this includes the $3.5 billion, which is the external borrowing component, and the domestic borrowing is to be added to this fi­gure.
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