...Ministers eagerly await allocations
MOST governmental ministers are expecting to get sufficient funding for projects and plans in the upcoming budget that is scheduled to be announced on October 1.
Yesterday Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar hosted a pre-budget function at her home in Phillipine, South Trinidad and it was attended by government ministers, regional corporations, non-governmental organisations and other groups.
Sport Minister Anil Roberts said the meeting was to "understand what is in the budget now, how we are going to get back growth in the economy, how we are going to get back in a few years to balance the budget, how we going to create jobs and get growth so we can impact on a decrease in crime how we are going to diversify the economy."
He said every ministry " will be attacking crime from different levels," and he expected the Ministry of National Security to get "a big chunk".
He said even though he may not get everything that he asked for the new fiscal year, he was " quite happy" because there was focus on sport tourism.
Roberts said there will be upgrades at several sporting facilities throughout the country including recreation grounds and the Live Sports programme will be expanded from 38 to 78 communities. The minister said in Couva, there will be an investment in cricket, track and field, swimming and cycling with the soon-to-be-built aquatic centre and cycling velodrome.
He said through the Ministry of Sport and the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago, coaches will be going into schools at all levels "so that we identify talent, capture it properly and put certified and qualified people at the earliest stages to develop sports so we get a healthier population."
Roberts also said that plans were in place to implement the "Hoop of Life" Programme launched by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and former American basketball player Shaquille O' Neal in June.
He said as soon as the necessary personnel to be involved were ready and courts were fully refurbished, the competition intended to fight crime will begin.
And Minister of Local Government, Dr Surujrattan Rambachan said his main focus would be to assist with road development.
He said, "I am very happy with what I am seeing with the development of my discussions with Mr (Larry) Howai. I think that local government will be well treated. I think that we are going to focus on the main problems that people face which would be local roads and drainage problems in particular."
He said his ministry was now partly responsible for the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) and changes will be taking place in the URP, "in which we will be getting value for money where people will be doing work that is of more construction type in communities ."—SW