(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — The Finance Ministry released $25 million two weeks ago to the National Carnival Commission (NCC) for Carnival 2019 and the NCC yesterday requested an additional sum of $73 million.
Culture Minister Nyan Gadsb -Dolly confirmed this in the Senate yesterday replying to Opposition queries from UNC senator Wade Mark.
She said funds are released by the Finance Ministry to the NCC upon request. She added: “Recently in the last two weeks, $25 million was requested and released and another request was made (yesterday) for another tranche of money to be released for Carnival celebrations and (this) will certainly be processed as expeditiously as possible.”
Gadsby-Dolly said the request for the second tranche was in the sum of approximately $73 million. Once obtained it will bring to a total of $98 million, NCC’s received from The Ministry of Finance for Carnival 2019.
On other queries about tourist safety for Carnival, Government Senator Clarence Rambharat said the Police Service and National Security agencies have been planning for Carnival 2019 in the past few months.
He said the Police Service deals with an additional influx of tourists for Carnival annually and has “sufficient experience “ to plan for additional numbers of tourists this season.
“There are always greater police responses and Defence Force personnel at Carnival and this year it will be no different. Threat assessments are continuously being done and operations for Carnival are always being fine-tuned,” he said.
He said the Police Service has been liaising with Carnival party promoters and band leaders to implement safety and security for events and parades.
On a potential increase in the spread of malaria currently, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsing said an inter-ministerial team has been liaising with Living Waters Community which deals with migrant populations— especially Venezuelans among whom cases were found— to identify people with the disease.
He said spraying was done in areas and blood samples are being taken. Deyalsingh said medical screening— not invasive blood tests— are done at ports of entry.