Home / Live Wire / Don’t Count on Colm! Chutney bacchanal as Finance Minister gets his Count wrong on CSM funding

Don’t Count on Colm! Chutney bacchanal as Finance Minister gets his Count wrong on CSM funding

Okay, so who’s playing up with their Count at the Ministry of Finance?

Just hours after, Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) promoter George Singh declared that the competition would be scuttled due to a withdrawal of funding from the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB)—after a directive from the Ministry of Finance—the CSM was presumably on again, after a U-turn from Finance Minister Colm Imbert.

It was as bewildering as watching the Red Woman revive Jon Snow’s corpse in Season Six of the Game of Thrones.

Photo: Oh gorm… The Chutney Soca Monarch on or it off?!

In an interview with LoopTT this morning, Singh revealed what happened in his meeting with the NLCB.

“I was informed that I was required to attend an urgent meeting that morning at the offices of NLCB,” Singh told LoopTT. “Whilst there I was greeted by the CEO and informed that there was a change, a change to which he was awaiting a final decision on.

“Within a few minutes, a phone call was received by the CEO and taken outside of the said meeting. A few minutes later the CEO re-entered the room to which he stated that there was an email confirmation and directive by the Ministry of Finance that stated that the Chutney Soca Monarch was no longer to be the recipient of any funding whatsoever.”

And, just like that, a 15 year partnership between the Chutney Soca Monarch and the NLCB looked to be on the rocks. And Singh was probably asking Sport Minister Darryl Smith to recommend a competent couples therapist.

As it turned out, Imbert was just demonstrating the incompetence of his government.

Subsequent to the LoopTT report, Imbert—according to CNC3—promised to raise the figure offered to the Chutney Soca Monarch from TT$300,000 to TT$1 million.

Imbert was quoted as saying that “the initial decision […] was based on false information that the Ministry donated TT$500,000 to CSM last year. However the actual figured [given last year] was TT$1.5 million.”

Eh… Turns out that Rowley’s fictional mudda is not the only person with Counting problems.

Photo: Yuh want to see me count? Step outside if yuh is man…
(Courtesy Power102)

So all’s well that ends well then? Well, except for the “incompetence” thing, of course. But then Trinidad and Tobago citizens have gotten used to that shortcoming, in much the same way that parents of new-borns lose the scent of fully loaded pampers.

So why all the ruction?

Well, there is an elephant room—and, bizarrely, she was dancing in ‘black face’. We are referring, of course, to that silly little ditty from Gosein entitled “Rowley Mudda Count” that was about… Well, it is difficult to look beyond the chorus.

PNM Women’s Arm head Camille Robinson-Regis heard the tune and immediately rallied the nation to protect the wholesomeness of mothers across the country and the children whose innocence might be spoiled forever by chancing across the Massive number on a radio station.

That would be the mothers who the Sport Minister isn’t publicly threatening to toss out of their homes. And the children who aren’t too preoccupied nursing broken limbs in the Education Minister’s gladiatorial pits.

Two boys at Fatima College simulating a rape scene on a smart phone?

Dais small thing, according to Anthony Garcia; let boys be boys.

Rowley’s fictional mother counting vegetables? Well, that’s just going too far isn’t it…

So it is with the backdrop of Gosein’s 2018 tune and the Government’s disproportional reaction that the idea of chutney soca fans dipping into their own pockets to hear their favourite artistes and count the night away became a national talking point.

Photo: Rowley muddah wha?!

Was it a failed attempt at censorship? Or a storm in a tea cup?

More like another example of why State-owned boards should not have their day-to-day operations dictated to by a Minister who ought to have enough on his plate in the first place.

To be fair, though, Mr Live Wire would like to point out that Imbert has a well established reputation as a penny pincher and it would be hasty to impugn improper motives. Little Colm has almost certainly been a massive Counter since Jesus in short pants.

Editor’s Note: Wired868 updated its initial story after the Finance Ministry’s about-turn on funding for the Chutney Soca Monarch.

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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  1. Good the content at Chutney Soca Monarch is poor. All they can sing about is Rum & Roti

  2. Thought the country had no money. Apparently that show more important that hospital medicine and money owed to civil servants

  3. Damned if you do, …damned if you don’t!

  4. Soca on the sea who muddah count was there

  5. But wha Dee muddah count wey dat big massive increase cum from. .

  6. It is high time that We The People tell the Government what they should be doing with Our Money and not letting the Government decide how and on what it should be spent !

  7. This Minister have a real smeagul finish tho…but that’s just my opinion….

  8. I work to pay my bills and to support my family, I also pay my Taxes but guess what my Government takes this my Tax money to pay their sycophants to have a good time and to also pay those who make financial contributions to party support. Why the fuck should I be working that other than my family can get “their” share from my honest and hard work ! It is time that Government ceases sponsorship and/or contributions from Government Bodies, Agencies, Organisations and Companies for wining and dining their sycophants and sponsors of ALL Carnival Events.

  9. All the funding should stop, let everyone stand on their own, then there will be no counting to be done!

  10. If you have a show and corporate sponsorship has dried up what does that tell you about the event? Sponsors tend to go where things are happening, they tend to go where there’s a lot of interest. Soca monarch AND chutney soca monarch should take a 2 years off, reassess themselves and return with a new business model and new ideas. They have to figure out how to make people interested again, they have to figure out how to pack a stadium with paying patrons.

    • I still feel if those organisations had three months’ notice, there would be time for them to discuss things like: Smaller appearance fees and prize money for participants, adjusted sales packages for corporate sponsors and stuff like that.
      If you’re told too late, it is really difficult to adjust. Because people would latch on to that uncertainty and would be unwilling to buy early tickets or spend to be a part of event.

    • True, I agree with the early notice. This whole thing is a mess, maybe having all these problems is a blessing in disguise. They need to stop these shows and start fresh but that wouldn’t happen, instead they will apply a quick fix and keep on applying the same quick fix 3, 4, 8 years down the road. In 2030 if God spare our lives we will be in this same position.

    • Yeah. We can only hope that lessons are learnt. But that is always likely to be wishful thinking.
      But I do wonder if the government understands where its responsibility lies when I see them making messy situations worse.

    • I think Soca monarch done it’s time. Can’t see myself paying to attend that. In fact when bmobile was a sponsor it got to the point where I would give away my complimentaries.

  11. Now it might just be me… But I’d think that the Govt should decide what money would be given to these promoters at least three months before Carnival. That way there is sufficient time for them to find additional revenue streams if necessary.
    I have no problem with reduced funding. But what does Minister mean they will decide next week? Is that the sign of a competent body? Or did they not know there would be Carnival in 2018?

  12. All yuh stop discussing the Minister Count.

  13. In Toronto the city stopped funding Caribana and the Business community took over the sponsorship because they knew what was at stake. Just mentioning!

    Toronto Caribana festival gets new sponsor
    TORONTO – The Bank of Nova Scotia has announced a multi-year sponsorship of the Toronto Caribana Festival.

    “Scotiabank Caribana makes our community a richer one by celebrating the diversity of the city,” Canada’s most international bank, which has a strong presence in the Caribbean, stated Friday.

    Caribana has run annually since 1967, highlighted by a street parade attended by hundreds of thousands of people and a Caribbean festival on the Toronto islands.

    The summer festival has become a major international event which the city government estimates brings $300 million a year into Toronto.

    Caribana was run by a community organization, the Caribbean Cultural Committee, which ran into financial trouble in 2006. The city government provided money to maintain the festival, amid allegations of fraud and misappropriation of funds.

    “Given Scotiabank’s extensive presence in the Caribbean, and the importance of this event to the city of Toronto and many of our customers and employees, this event is a natural fit for us,” stated Chris Hodgson, head of domestic personal banking for Scotiabank, which has a sponsorship and donation budget of over $40 million.

  14. And the country don’t have money

  15. There are some fundamental issues at play here.
    The nlcb has created it’s own monopoly without either transparency or equity and then redistributing it’s income.
    How is it the the minister of finance may direct who the nlcb sponsors?
    I agree with you. Without policy there is adhocracy.
    But some thing is wrong with the formula. If without sponsorship the show cannot go on it means that the event is not viable unless they consider sponsorships revenue.

  16. I am still waiting on my allotment of taxpayer money I don’t deserve to promote my Szechuan Soca Monarch competition.

  17. All games Long waterry steupsss

  18. I should block this foolish site.

  19. Killed it with the Jon Snow comment!!!

  20. Do you really want us to believe you

  21. And you see it’s spelt Rowlee eh

  22. A couple’s therapist yes…ah weak

  23. Seems like Massive was used as leverage…. First he was banned (so no money eh), then he’s in (well that’s why we eh getting money) so now we get de money, let’s see if Massive makes it to the final…..

  24. Are they serious…this is the height of incompetence… I hope they realize it’s real money they playing with and not play money.. is like everyday is a ‘vaps’ with this government

  25. It was a mistake.By all the muddled counts !!

  26. Fake news…ppl spreading…chutney getting $1m..they jus r got .3m$ cut.

    • So you didn’t hear that Imbert said that HIS Ministry is the one that got it wrong and offered chutney the wrong money first? Smh. So they put out wrong info and it is the media who giving fake news? That is Trump-esque man.

  27. Story updated with new information…

  28. Carnival, bacchanal an annual occurrence

  29. These promoters of all these shows are profiting and getting rich off these events and yet still gov’t giving them funding in the disguise of being T&T culture. So many non profitable sports and cultural organizations don’t get one red cent people just working for charity and expenses coming from there own pockets.

  30. One man, one song,that is all it took.if you are in public eye and you are afraid of critics,you should leave,if you afraid of commentary ,leave.but when you can’t handle it,that is how to react.kill the message.as usual a useless govt.lacking in vision in everything

  31. Also, they should have just left Massive alone from the very beginning and allow him to sing his song. The govt fuel Massive’s song, they put the wind in his sails, they made the song big. If they had just ignored it it would have blown over… Just let the man sing… Freedom of speech ignore him.

    • Precisely. It’s just a silly little song that would have blown over quickly. Not like it is hard hitting social commentary. It doesn’t even articulate a position against the Govt… They treated it like it was Gypsy’s “Sinking Ship”.

    • Boyyyy I don’t know who does advise these people. If they had ignored it from the beginning that song would have stayed in a small circle of people. The rest of the population wouldn’t have had a clue that song existed. I had no clue along with probably 80% of the population who Massive was or this song until the govt made a big stink about it and raise it up like an ants nest.

    • well
      1. Trinidad and Tobago does not allow for freedom of speech, this isnt the United States of America.

      2. MANY songs were pulled by Government for similar messages, it isnt to do with the PM..but if everyone in a “fete” gonna be singing.. uh MOTHER COUNT…chances are they not gonna say your mother COUNT…. (its Trinidad and Tobago)….we ALL know what people was gonna shout.

    • Listen, I don’t want those calypsonians to hold back in skinner park come calypso semis, I look forward to the hard hitting songs they come up with. I’m afraid that this unnecessary stink the govt raised for this silly song will cause some calypsonians to hold back or to become scared to sing. Steups
      Leave the people to sing their songs, leave Massive alone

    • Why must decent, right-minded people ignore a song of profanity (doh geh tie up with that “count” word) and hatred towards the PM to just past?
      “Paul Yuh Mudder Come” was banned because of what Crazy intention was, although “Paul” was used instead of “haul” yuh mudder “c..t”. Why we playing naive about this and what the intention is? Come on nah man, allyuh big and full ah sense.

  32. Editor’s Note: Subsequent to the initial LoopTT report, Finance Minister Colm Imbert—according to CNC3—promised to raise the figure offered to the Chutney Soca Monarch from TT$300,000 to TT$1 million.
    Imbert was quoted as saying that “the initial decision […] was based on false information that the Ministry donated TT$500,000 to CSM last year. However the actual figured [given last year] was TT$1.5 million.”
    The State has taken a decision to reduce funding to Carnival competitions like the CSM by one third.

  33. Typical Colm. He goes for the throat…

  34. They’re all like characters in a VS Naipaul story. No wonder he won the damn Nobel Prize. Too much raw material.

  35. I too believe government should not fund chutney, soca monarch and all other private carnival events. I don’t understand why they are dependent on funding from the govt, and if you don’t get your show cannot survive? Well close up shop. This is not a race issue because I think government funding for soca monarch should stop also. Imagine govt fund soca monarch for many years then the past owner sold the rights to the competition. My question is, when soca monarch changed owners and the previous owner was paid did he give the government a portion of that money since the govt invested in it for so many years or did he pocket all the money? Let those private events change their business model and learn how to survive on their own. Stop looking for handouts every damn year.

  36. Create a problem to fix it.
    Cheap old political cheap trick lol.
    I can bet a million bucks that the govt will give Chutney Monarch enough $$.
    Watch and see.
    It’s all games folks!!!!

  37. So much for freedom of speech.

  38. Spiteful. Hope it becomes a Road March

  39. Nothing for Indians take that

  40. Well done Minister of Finance………..No funding must be made available for private events like Soca and Chutney Monarch as a matter of government Policy

  41. No money for Indian people only PNM people could sing about others

  42. At least we can fix the golf course..lol

  43. Not only do we mistake stupidity for creativity we endorse the jackassness to perpetuate a continous shit storm where we all jump and bathe in. We only looking at that controversial song the wrong way. The lyrics itself isn’t offensive it’s the connotations of what seem to be a Dame Lorraine with either a Zwartes Peits face or coon kitchen logo for a face which I find is completely offensive to black men and women world wide. It’s Fucking racist. I await all the idiots who would jump and say it’s await good song and jump to insults. Jeeze

  44. These shows are sold out, what happens to all of that money?

  45. Ah watching Panorama going and geh about $25-30M. THA done allocate $7.2M for something or the other over int he sister isle.

  46. This is the third straight year funding for these shows have been cut. It seems the Chutney Soca Monarch is not financially sustainable on its own. Wise move by GOTT.

  47. I hope massive gosein threatens to sing the song for carnival Monday and Tuesday. What the hell, he should sing it for panorama too.

  48. All these entities that get Govt funding should be providing financial statements etc.. When Cricket and Football and other sporting disciplines have tp get funding, they are asked to provide same… it is tax payers money, tgey should be held accountable….

  49. Also, NLCB decided not to sponsor Downtown Carnival. Is that also linked to Massive or race or chutney hate or arrogance…?

    • Like I said, it would be helpful if the Govt/Minister of Finance gives a clear explanation to what they will be and will NOT be funding. And, better yet, explain what is deemed worthy of State funding and what isn’t.

    • Or how about we accept that things can’t go on as before, that we have less money to throw around. How about that?

    • Lasana Liburd This would ease all the race talk… TT is heading further along a cery dangerous route where the racial divide is widening. Politicians gain by this, but populations suffer… really sad….

    • Alana, who is against change?

    • Not I but it seems many are. All carnival events have been receiving reduced funding for some time. Not just this year but all of a sudden, it’s unfair? And having reduced revenue to spend appears to be an insufficient reason for reductions. ?‍♀️

    • Alana, are you pretending not to see anything but economics here? Are you saying you have no idea why anyone might think this can have anything to do with something other than low oil prices?

    • But Lasana, the promoter refused the reduced allocation and chose to cancel the show. I see people trying to make that link but then the same sponsor also declined to fund other events so I don’t think CM is being especially targeted.

    • Alana, first you have to acknowledge that the State owned company approved the funding for the Chutney Soca Monarch only to back track on the eve of the launch for the competition.
      Then you note that an arm of the PNM also severely criticised one of the singers at the Chutney Soca Monarch in the build-up to that decision. And that the singer himself said he received calls warning him of a financial backlash if he did not withdraw or alter his song.
      In the end, it might have had nothing to do with the Finance Ministry’s decision. Maybe. But you can’t say you don’t know why people are suspicious or concerned.

    • For instance, do you know that the Finance Minister only approved the budget for NLCB this morning? That strikes you at odd? On what basis was the Chutney Soca Monarch promised funding in the first place then?
      It is not as if this is a policy articulated well in advance to the Carnival stakeholders.
      Or is it no big thing to just change everything on the hoof after the season has already started?

    • Never said that I don’t understand the suspicion. However, I discount it because if the NLCB has defunded other events, and they can do so because it is their / our money, then no one is being targeted. It’s just a business decision.

    • Alana, I can accept you discounting it. But you can understand why some people aren’t so quick to give the benefit of the doubt in the circumstances.
      Personally, I’d like to hear from the Finance Ministry on policy regarding these events.
      Do you agree that policy should have been clearly articulated in advance of the Carnival season though?

    • What was the amount offered bt NLCB/MoF to CSM? What amount did they ask for? What was it reduced to?

    • It’s not odd. The Public sector is often last minute. And yes they would have provisionally approved the allocation before MoF approved their budget on the assumption that it had been approved for 15 years.

    • NLCB defunded but Min. Of Culture offered 900k.
      Promoter said it’s not enough.

    • Lasana, what policy? Allyuh feel we that organised?

    • Every year carnival is a surprise….

    • Alana to be honest, I read the Newsday story and still ent sure of what was or wasn’t offered this year. I think the NLCB and Finance Ministry should clear the air in terms of what was and wasn’t offered and why.

    • I agree with you there. Definitive statement. But we know the ole talk will continue….

    • Alana Morton Thanks, what was NLCB initially offering? I personally never agreed to these sponsorships to private events by state. No accountability…. money can be used to benefit mich needed programs relating to domestic violence, homeless, health….

    • Alana Morton I think if clarification was offered on figures, a lot of ole talk would cease

    • I don’t know the figure requested from NLCB or what they agreed to provide before recinding the offer.

    • Hahahahahah. You underestimate our love for lacaray and mauvais lange then. The goal posts shift like the desert Sands….

    • Lasana Liburd another thing we aren’t discussing is how these events get state funding from multiple state agencies. So NLCB is but one. They would have accessed funding from the Ministry of Culture, Bmobile in the past and who knows where else. That’s double, triple, quadruple, multiple bites at the same cherry. The cherry ain’t that big anymore.

    • Alana that’s a fair point for discussion. But it might genuinely be that it is good business sense for Bmobile AND NLCB to advertise with one company because of potential gains.
      I actually find it quite curious that the Finance Ministry can “direct” a State-owned company in that way. Because there is supposed to be a big difference in “state-owned” and “State-run”. Nobody should think it okay, for instance, for a Minister to direct a CNMG editor or reporter to cover a story.
      Companies ought to have some autonomy in my opinion. Brian Harry, Afra Raymond, Dennise Demming, Jason Baptiste and co know more about this than I do.

    • Corporation Sole. We have to decide what we really want because when it’s left to be run by the Board as in the company’s act, we demand government / ministerial intervention. When the government /Minister intervene, we also have a problem. NLCB provides revenue to the state, it’s one of the better performing state owned companies. How it’s money is spent then should have some government oversite. Hence their appearance at the JSC in Parliament.

    • Alana, let’s be real. When we talk about government oversight in a company are we really talking about a Minister/Ministry calling to say cancel allyuh sponsorship for Chutney Soca?
      So the Gov’t allowing Angostura to hire expensive lawyers to defend chairman Rolph Balgobin–who should be defending himself–but we should applaud the Finance Ministry saying don’t give this body any money?

    • Lasana. You find it strange that the MoF, as Corporation Sole, can give directives to a company wholly owned by the state? Ummmmmmm? Tres confused at your confusion.

    • NLCB, bMobile, they have products that would be “promoted” in sponsorship, what does MoF hope to promote? Why couldn’t they allow NLCB to agree on sponsorship for amount agreed upon, 900k, then NLCB would be given relevant sponsorship rights, products promotion , brand exposure…. with anticipated returns in increased sales.. as it stands, with MoF giving handout, nothing in return….

    • Lol. That there’s a notion the NLCB needs to promote its products existes….

    • But Lasana, NLCB also pulled funding g for other carnival events. Not just CSM.

    • Nicole I can give you a couple Wired868 stories to read from people with more knowledge on such matters than you and I who can explain the difference between State-run and State-owned.
      Those stories explain precisely why the system was set up so Ministers do NOT dictate the day to day runnings of such bodies.
      Just say the word and I will post them here.

    • But in a tiny market like this, how much brand exposure does a company like NLCB need? Is there another lottery operator here that I don’t know about?

    • And, let’s not forget these promoters were sourcing funding from several state agencies and ministries. What’s the ROI for us?

    • The MoF in relation to any entity that the state has money invested is not just any minister, he acts as Corporation Sole and they are directly answerable to the MoF.

    • Alana Morton It is still something, as it stands MoF is just giving taxpayers’ money with no possible returns… yes Corp Sole with responsibility for NLCB, but just a handout

    • Alana, I think those companies have in-house expertise to make those judgment calls. We went over why people would be concerned with regards to the Chutney Soca Monarch already. As for the other competitions that they stopped supporting or a clear policy, shouldn’t that be for them to articulate?
      All you should have to do now is drop the link that explains clearly. This is messy as the GATE scenario. Do you think the Ministry of Finance has a responsibility to articulate its position clearly to the public? Or is what is going on now better?

    • Nicole, you think that every State-owned body must get approval from the Finance Minister before every spend? Imbert must be Jesus.

      • Earl Best

        Or Captain Marvel!
        But I think I understand why HE now thinks he is Jesus. Every time he open he mouth over the last few months, somebody does say”Öh Jesus!”

    • All these fundings such cease….. let these promoters manage their events… they charge entrance fees and they are the ones that benefit from media rights etc.. of taxpayers are sponsors, then let it be open event, lol….

    • Lasana. Is small goal you playing of wha? How your goal post easy to move so? I feel I taking my ball and going home oui….

    • Lol. Nicole, allyuh trying to hypnotise me yes. What post I moving?

    • State enterprises answerable to Corporation Sole. Especially in financial matters. Punto final!

    • Policy should be uniform for all state agencies but that’s not how stuff happens here. Corporation Sole must have a say since we also expect them to answer when things go wrong. As I said earlier, a definite statement would be welcome. However, recinding of funding to me is just a business decision, since CSM isn’t the only one to be defunded. And I accept that our circumstances are straightened and the available money is less. Events have been receiving reduced funding for a while now.

    • Lasana Liburd they don’t for all amounts, the Board can make decisions….

    • Che, if Nicole or Alana truly think that every State board sends in letters to the Finance Ministry before they every purchase or spend… Well, what can I say yes.
      I suppose Imbert wasn’t Finance Minister when TSTT bought out Massy Technologies right?
      This not making sense. Wired868 publishes information on how State boards and State owned companies are run. Misinformation is just not cool. But I will leave it there.

    • See what I mean…i say one thing…you say something totally different..and expect it to make sense…whe my ball booooyyyy

    • They don’t. That’s what annual PSIPs and budgets are for.

    • I work at a State entity. Come March we will submit our projected budget for fiscal 2019. It will be reviewed by the MOF and cuts may or may not be made. What gets approved is what we work with but money isn’t all released in October. We get releases in tranches and the budget is further modified. In the end, we very like never get all that we requested and sometimes it’s adjusted upwards if warranted.

    • As do ALL state enterprises..ALL

    • Che Abrams I also advocate that government cuts funding for religious events.

    • Alana Morton I agree…….

    • Alana I don’t know where you work so I’m not sure of how fitting the comparison is. Now that annual budget you reference might be $60 million sponsorships for instance. At the end of the year, you’d state exactly how much was spent where.
      That projected budget, as you said, would have been submitted before today’s meeting with Chutney Soca promoter and NLCB CEO. So that admission is a start.
      Now the difference here is in the breakdown.
      NLCB knows it has $60 million (arbitrary figure) to spend on sponsorships and that’s it. That’s different to NLCB asking for money for specific events.
      If Bmobile decides to spend more of its sponsorship money on Keshorn Walcott and less on Thema Williams, for instance, is that a State issue?
      We know where budgets go. And at the end of the year they have to report for how money is spent. What I’m saying is the day to day running otherwise is the Board’s business.
      If they cannot account or are found to have behaved badly, they are relieved of their positions.
      There is a reason why State-owned board get certain autonomy to do their jobs.

    • And, all of that money is approved by MoF/Corporation Sole before you can spend it. Changes can and are made to the allocation at the time of approval. If your allocation for sponsorship is cut then you can’t give people money you promised before approval. And, as I keep saying, CSM is hardly singular in no longer being sponsored.

    • The Companies Act requires the Directors to discharge their functions in the best interest of ‘the company’, not its shareholders, staff, stakeholders or anyone else…that legal requirement in my view eclipses the current practice of Ministers giving specific directions to State Enterprises…if Ministers actually held such a power legitimately, then what would be the function of the State Enterprise board? This issue was a live one in the 2002-2003 Bernard Enquiry into the Piarco Airport project and the 2009-2010 Uff Enquiry into the Public Sector Construction Industry as well as the recent JSC imbroglio on the Tobago Ferry issue. ..
      Gerard Pemberton Nicholas Jackman Sonja Gopeesingh

    • Afra Raymond did the Companies Act define who the company is or did it just exclude those categories? It may have created a loophole for Directors to be a law unto themselves or for Ministerial intervention.

    • The company is self-evident as the only entity the Directors are obliged to serve…

    • Lasana just bear in mind you are having a discussion with people who have openly declared their political affiliation on their FB pages. Trying to explain the colour white to people with red/yellow tinted shades is an exercise in frustration.

    • Good thing the Constitution guarantees us ALL the right to Association.

    • It also guarantees freedom of thought, so we as Trini’s should not be afraid to do so!

    • Alana Morton you mean stop period right?

    • If you’re interested Nicole Ulerie or Alana Morton, the article above speaks to the roles of State boards.

  50. Because of one song? hahahahahaha. Apparently politicians are thin skinned.

  51. Colm have some real countish ways himself.

  52. Those private events you speak of are part of our carnival which brings billions to our country each year. I hope when other Caribbean countries step up and take these international events from us we don’t vex about the lost of much needed foreign revenue.

    • You need to get a grip. People only seem to check what goes into governments pocket cause most have on blinkers and can’t see the complete picture. Billions yes! Check the hotels the airlines the car rentals and all the others. If you don’t know you don’t but it seems that’s the order of things on fb people talk what they know and that’s not much. Barbados already tried to pay the promoters of soca millions to bring it there why you think that is

    • Winston Vallie Yep the multiplier effect could easily take it to billions. But I rather the Gov’t role be one of a broker with these private ventures than one of underwriter.

    • JC Beau Sejour I think the intent was to keep it at a standard because the truth is these are now international events meant to attract foreigners but with crime as it is it’s not realizing it’s full potential so what we seeing is panic and then there’s the lack of accountability but I think people are not in the know as to how much it really cost to stage these shows and the moneys government put Issa mere drop in the bucket.

  53. That the power to decide whether it takes place or not resides with the government, shows everything that is wrong with carnival events funding arrangements. If as suggested Imbert is unable to separate funding from the Massive controversy, that would be a troubling exercise of the power of the purse.

    On another score, T&T is socialised to a degree that continues to surprise this new(ish) resident. The government is mother, father, godfather, granddaddy and sugar daddy. No wonder the govt prefers to borrow money to pay wages rather than cut the workforce.

    • How was that decided by the Government tho? Dan, the man refused a reduced subvention and decided he wasn’t going to do the event anymore. This is a privately run event and apparently their business model relies on government expenditure. To me, that’s failure .22 years later and you still need my money for a private venture? How?? Why?? When is it going to be enough?

  54. The country is broke ,so forget it

  55. Long live Massive! No massive show.

  56. Mr. Liburd well said.

  57. There should be no funding for chutney or soca monarch. Private events cannot be dependent on the govt for survival.

  58. Are they funding Sica Monarch Patrick manning was a different person

  59. It was good cro cro and sugar aloes sing about her but now its bad I really don’t care about chutney cause they don’t bring any thing on TV again so do so ant like so

  60. U see when they sing about kamala

  61. It’s a pity that the satire is wasted here…but belay that, lemme just take in this stellar commentary.

  62. HELP KAMLA HELP!!! Say something do something! !!

  63. See how racial this Government is, we will overcome, but let’s see what coming for Calypso competition

  64. Pnm just want everyone to hush and take what they dishing out

  65. And if you get money from several state agencies, how greedy are you? And why after all this time do you still need state funding? What’s your business model? Do we get an audited financial statement from them to see how they spent our money?

  66. If you decline the money, how is that “pulling the rug” tho?

    “On this topic, Singh said that over the last three years, the funding by the PNM administration to Chutney Soca Monarch has been reduced by 90% to less than $1million. With just eight days to go before the semi-finals of CSM, (January 13) Singh says it is totally biased and unfair that CSM gets a fraction of what is being offered to Soca Monarch.”


    • We quoted George Singh based on his interview with LoopTT. But I can add whatever was said to Newsday.

    • “On this topic, Singh said that over the last three years, the funding by the PNM administration to Chutney Soca Monarch has been reduced by 90% to less than $1million. With just eight days to go before the semi-finals of CSM, (January 13) Singh says it is totally biased and unfair that CSM gets a fraction of what is being offered to Soca Monarch.”
      That is totally unclear. Newsday should have tried to clarify.

  67. Shame on you Llasana,shame on you.Tell me the facts,the NLCB is a Public Corp’ under the stewardship of a ‘Board’ who ,due to financial constraints,has taken a decision to cancelled their ‘financial obligation to ALL ,yes ALL, the various “Cultural bodies’ .PS:Lets see if other “gandre” are given TOTAL financial support ,yes TOTAL,bcus ,Mr Maharaj, knows their was a partial funding offered ,THEN & only THEN, can we blow our trumpet & say DISCRIMINATION

    • Do you work for the Ministry of Finance? If not, then feel free to attach the appropriate release from the Ministry of Finance.
      Until then, we will go with word from the stakeholders.

    • The funding is yanked the day before the launch after the funding was promised. Isn’t there an attorney they can go to to seek redress? Funds would have been spent after the promise of funding was extended..a darn shame..

    • no …funding wasn’t yanked, reduced funding was offered.

      Me? I’m cool because I have long believed the Govt should not be funding commercial ventures which are making men nillionaires. Let them invest their own money so that we can really discern the market for the product.

    • I’m absolutely fine with the government being far more cautious about how it spends its money. I’d expect a responsible government to article such changes in policy in advance of the Carnival season though.
      I’d expect a fly by night bunch of amateurs to changes things on the hoof.

    • true,,,strangely I thought the general policy directive that we have no money and that contributions are being reduced has been articulated pretty frequently since December 2015.

    • Well, George Singh said NLCB already approved the money and then had an about turn just before their launch after a call from the Finance Ministry.
      So unless the initial NLCB approval came before December 2015, then that is strange eh Kwesi Prescod?

  68. Nlcb under min of finance so I guess the directive will come from there and not culture as to where they can spend tax payers money

  69. Lasana, your artcle seems to suggest causality between Massive Gosein’s song and the lack of funding.

    is there evidence of thsi causality, or just speculation?

  70. But wait a minute….. Toronto Caribbean Carnival formerly Caribana, gets money from the City of Toronto, and the books are open. Scotia Bank was a premier sponsor for the festival and pulled away from the festival in 2017.

    Toronto has had a history of the organizers seeking their OWN interest of the festival. Hence why the name has changed and the committee members have changed.

  71. Where is the right to free speech ? That’s your first Amendment right. I guess that don’t apply in T&T.

  72. Mel Lissa, was it last year or this year they opened the gates after poor turnout?

  73. ISM next on the chopping board ..I presume

  74. hahahahaha the last paragraph

  75. I agree 100% with the decision not to fund this competition with public funds. They have crossed the line into a level of vulgarity. depravity, indecency and disrespect that is intolerable. The promoters must be responsible enough to exercise self censorship in the interest of public decency and not depend on the fig leaf of don’t censor the arts. The song should be banned from all types of public airing. could you imagine the crowds singing in fetes and on stages all over this land Rowley mother cxxx? and no funding next year either if this item is allowed in this years competition.

  76. But let us not be naive eh, Chutney Monarch eh cancel.
    The promoters will cry discrimination by pointing to Soca Monarch’s larger subsidy (and rightly so), then sensing the opportunity to defend Indo honor Kamla will rouse herself from slumber, flake the wapya from her face, man the podium and lead the campaign. Then, percieving how it looks, the government will cave to demands and afford to the Chutney Monarch promoters the same opportunity to fleece the taxpayer as they afforded the Soca Monarch promoters.

  77. All Carnival events should self sufficient. Very minimal gov’t funding.

  78. Time for private ventures on tax payers $ to stop.

    You the taxpayer actually fund the show, then day to attend.


  79. The need for government funding show how little these promoters invest, or, how poor a show is put out, or, the true value of the show.


    • But if we are the shareholders because is our taxpayer$, why don’t we call for accountability for how our monies are spent.
      In other words, the govt subsidising fetes for a few to enjoy, while another few reap the profits. There does not seem to be any sustained and consistent effort to make these events self sufficient. And I guess that is what you get when politricks infiltrates everything.

  80. Pull finance from all competitions. None should be funded.

  81. Not me and allyuh Trini baccahnal nah! The man say “gladiatorial pits” yes!! Priceless!!

    Seriously though, “so allyuh eh want to ban him from allyuh completion? We go see bout dat!!”

  82. Lasana if the government does not give you a black cent to run Wired 868, then better you promote Chutney and Soca Monarchs ….. in fact run Eid, Divali and Christmas while you at it.
    Yuh go ease up the taxpayer!

  83. much ado about nothing…the show will go on

  84. Btw, if NLCB’s decision is all it takes for the Chutney Soca Monarch to topple over, then something was really wrong with that body.
    Regardless, the Finance Ministry has to explain its decision–if the allegations are true. And we would expect to see some consistency now regarding funding of all competitions.

  85. 2018 CHUTNEY MONARCH CANCELLED….PANORAMA, SOCA MONARCH, KAISO they are all on a life-line for money????

  86. Again … how does government determine how much taxpayer money is to be given to fete promoters so that they can promote their private ventures?