Saturday, February 24, 2018

Relocation of ministries ‘will save $millions’

In the Senate

The relocation of three ministries from Port of Spain to Chaguanas will save taxpayers millions, says Planning Minister Bhoendradatt Tewarie.

These are the Education Ministry, Community Development Ministry and Food Production Ministry.

Tewarie said decentralisation of these offices to buildings owned by the State will not only ensure effective traffic management but will also bring huge savings.

He noted that during the period 2002-2011 when the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education was located at the corner of Agra and Patna Streets, St James, a total of $41,042,497 was paid in rent.

And the National Training Agency has paid approximately $11,788,353 in rent for the period 1999 to December 2013.

Tewarie said the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) has spent approximately $10,874,754.00 in rent for the period 2005 to December 2013 and YTEPP has spent approximately $25,135,562.51 in rent for the period 1991 to December 2013.

He said large sums are also expended under the Community Development Ministry for rental space for various divisions under its purview.

This includes the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition Secretariat at Carifesta House, Stanmore Avenue, Port of Spain — $737,438 and Community Development Fund, Level 6, Capital Plaza, Frederick Street, Port of Spain — $386,400.

Tewarie said the Community Development Ministry is expected to save an estimated $1,123,838 on rent per year.

The Food Production Ministry, he said, is expected to save an estimated $3,739,540 through relocation to a building designed to suit the needs of that Ministry.