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Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 05:40 AM AST

Trinidad & Tobago govt may borrow $2 billion from banks to pay October bills: Imbert

The government of Trinidad and Tobago will be paying only salaries, wages, pensions, gratuities, social service, grants, debt service this month, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said in Parliament in Port of Spain today. He said the total cash outflow this month to cover those expenses will be $3.1 billion.

He was wrapping up of the parliamentary budget debate of the $50 billion budget for fiscal 2017/2018.

He also said:

* Govt expects total cash inflows of $2.2 billion this month; and while the govt also has $1 billion in unpresented cheques outside (receivables), govt expects to be $2 billion short this month. It may be financed by borrowing from the commercial banks


* "Never passed through the doors of a casino in my life": Imbert

* In excess of 20k gaming machines spread across the country in 5,000 bars and other establishments
- - - Govt should be collecting $60 million in revenue from amusement slot machines; and $36 million from another 1,000 amusement roulette machine in bars
- - - "$100m is what Govt should be collecting from amusement gaming machines": Imbert

* Govt actually collected $5 million in FY2015, $8.53 million for FY2016 and $7.99 FY2017, Imbert said, citing Board of Inland Revenue figures

* Govt losing over $90 million per year, Imbert said, according to the number of machines Customs & Excise import records say are in the country

* Government should be collecting $400 million from devices in private members clubs

* Imbert says most casinos owned by men from UK, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, China

* "Hundreds of millions of US dollars leaking out of this country every single year because this (gambling) is not regulated" in T&T, Imbert said

* Imbert promises casino and private members clubs' workers benefits from regulation, e.g. sick leave, maternity leave, insurance and pension

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