Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries, Donovan Williams, explained that though Carnival falls under his ministry’s portfolio, the dynamics of the festival is coordinated by the Carnival Stakeholders Committee. And as such, the committee has over the past few years received an allocation of EC$1.1 million annually to execute the event.
Under the approved funding, there are three categories for which the money is to be used: events, subvention to individual stakeholders and prizes. However Williams noted that this sum, in successive years, has proved inadequate. As a result, the third category, prizes, usually suffers.
Williams confirmed that the ministry has received a finalized accounting report from the Carnival Stakeholders Committee last week, indicating that financing needs to be augmented in order to meet certain demands where payment is concerned.
In this situation, Williams assured that his ministry, as is the protocol, will now engage the Ministry of Finance to examine how this deficit could be funded.
Though he admits that the carnival budget needs to be increased, Williams noted that under the current economic constraints, everyone has to be prudent with the management of resources, including the Stakeholders Committee.