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Tuesday, September 26 2017 @ 05:10 AM AST

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Trinidad & Tobago Budget Speech 2011

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a short statement on the state of our finances and the arithmetic of our

Mr. Speaker, our national economy is still at risk and remains vulnerable to external shocks.
Notwithstanding, our economy remains resilient and our financial system is strong. We must stay on
course in this time of uncertainty.

Mr. Speaker, our fiscal 2012 budget calculation was based on an oil price of US $75per barrel and a gas
price of US $2.75 per mmbtu. We have estimated a real GDP growth of 1.7 percent and an average
inflation rate of 7 percent.

The total revenue is projected at $47 billion comprising $18.1 billion from the energy sector and $28.9
billion from the non energy sector. Total expenditure is projected at $54.6 billion resulting in a fiscal
deficit of $7.6 billion or 4.89 percent of our GDP. The debt to GDP ratio remains sustainable and well
within international benchmarks.

Of total expenditure:
• Education and Training will receive $8,717.8 million
• Infrastructure: including Works, Public Utilities and Transport will receive $6,995.4 million
• Health: $4,724.9 million
• National Security: $5,170.5 million
• Agriculture: $1,954.3 million and
• Housing: $1,970.0 million
The unemployment rate as estimated by the Central Statistical Office as of December 2010, stood at 6.3
percent. We anticipate that there has been an upward movement in this figure since then, but it remains
lower than our foreign trading partners. The thrust of our investment programme and our policy
initiatives outlined in this budget statement are designed to reverse this trend.

To summarize Mr. Speaker:

• Total Revenue is estimated to be $47.0 billion
• Total Expenditure net of Capital Repayments and Sinking Fund Contribution is estimated to
be $54.6 billion
• For an overall fiscal deficit of $7.6 billion

With regard to the financing of the deficit, we estimate that 52.7 percent of the financing requirement will
be met from domestic sources, while the remainder will be sourced from external sources including
multilateral financial institutions.

Mr. Speaker, our Government and leadership shall remain firm in our resolve to transform the economy,
and in concert with the people of our nation, we have the confidence to create more jobs, achieve a safer
environment and increase our investment for the development and benefit of all our citizens.
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Over 300 turn out for Health Clinic in Barrackpore

Over 300 persons turned out for a free health clinic hosted by Community Development Minister Nizam Baksh at the Valleyline United Centre in Barrackpore yesterday. Doctors, chiropractors and other medical staff working on behalf of the charitable group, Missions International, saw patients from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm yesterday. Services available included blood pressure testing, diabetes testing, sport related injuries, back pain therapy, chronic body pains, massages and eye testings. In photo above, a patient of chiropractor Wendell Simmons (second from left) prepares to be examined. From left are Community Development Minister Nizam Baksh, Simmons, Sita Seecharan, Faith Jagessar and Dr Brian Lushington of Missions International.
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NADAPP showcases services at Cancer Society’s Health Fair and Expo

General News

The National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme (NADAPP), now part of the Ministry of Community Development, showcased its services during a Health Fair and Exposition hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society at the National Academy for the Performing Arts on Thursday October 6th, 2011. The event was for secondary school students.

Officials of NADAPP spoke to the youngsters about the adverse consequences of substance use and abuse and provided them with healthy alternatives to drug use, and NADAPP promotional items.

The National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme coordinates drug abuse prevention and demand-reduction initiatives in Trinidad and Tobago and supports the efforts of non-governmental organisations involved in the struggle to rid the nation of the scourge of drug abuse.

NADAPP's goal is to reduce both legal and illegal drug abuse through a preventive approach. This involves informing the public of the health and social consequences of substance abuse as well as the benefits of adopting healthy lifestyles.
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Obamas thank Secret Service

General News On behalf of the United States First Family, US First Lady Michelle Obama thanked the Secret Service today during an event at the US Secret Service Headquarters in Washington DC.

"Well, let me start by thanking Director (Mark) Sullivan (at right) for that very kind introduction, and also for his leadership, because the same thing is true for him that he said about us, is that the excellent work and service that you provide to our family and to this country, it starts at the top," she said. "And one thing that the President and I always say about our work with this agency is that it is always 100 percent on point -- truly. I mean, not just in terms of how you all do your job, but how you all make us feel. And that is important when you’re trying to live a normal life and raise a couple of girls in the White House. You all have really made us feel at home and safe, and there is no amount of thanks that I could convey that would give you a sense of how important you all are to us."

She said she paid the special visit to the agency because, "Barack and I feel that it’s important that we recognize (all) the work (that you do) on the ground. And so often the rest of the country, they don’t know what you do, they don’t know how the Secret Service works, how many people are behind what happens, whether it’s filing or looking at terrorists -- I mean, the work you do here is pretty scary, let’s just say that.

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Minister Baksh's Message for International Day of Older Persons

General News October 1, 2022: Today is the International Day of Older Persons

The following is the Message by the Honourable Nizam Baksh, Minister of Community Development in commemoration of the International Day of Older persons.

Greetings to our Seniors!

Today, the people of Trinidad and Tobago join with the rest of the United Nations family in celebrating the International Day for Older Persons (IDOP), the 2011 theme of which is: “Launch of Madrid + 10: The Growing Opportunities and Challenges of Global Ageing.” The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago was a signatory to the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA), which was declared in 2002 at the United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing. This plan of action serves as a blueprint for governments in developing countries to take first responsibility for ageing issues.

The IDOP 2011 theme therefore heralds in part, the tenth anniversary of the MIPAA declaration which would be launched in April 2012. Moreover, the theme is in sync with the goal of the Government’s Policy on Ageing, which is: “To ensure the sustainable well-being of the population of older persons in Trinidad and Tobago, by facilitating the attainment of their basic human needs, that those in need are assisted, and that older persons are treated as an important resource rather than a burden to society.”

According to the Central Statistical Office (CSO) data for 2008, older persons (that is, persons aged 60 years and over) represent 12% (or 156,000) of the total population of Trinidad and Tobago; 14% of whom are over the age of 80 years; 16% and 14% of whom are men and women living alone respectively. For men and women who have attained the age of 60 between the years 2005-2010, the average life expectancy for men is 18 additional years and 21 additional years for women.

The CSO also revealed that in 2009 there were in excess of 300 centenarians in Trinidad and Tobago. The oldest celebrated 109 years in 2011. This could be regarded as both a challenge and an opportunity for developing countries, in ensuring that enabling and supportive environments are fostered and nurtured. The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, in pursuit of the implementation of its plan of action for and on behalf of the nation’s Seniors, has been involved in a wide range of programmes. Some of these include:

- Hosting of a two-part series of intergenerational discussions entitled “Conversations” to commemorate International Day of Older Persons in 2010 and 2011.

- Hosting of the 4th Annual Retirement Planning Seminars for Public Officers in May/June 2011. The purpose of the Seminars was to make the transition into retirement more gratifying for public officers. At the end of three 2-day Seminars, participants were able to formulate a personal financial plan; plan leisure/social activities for their post retirement years; compute their pension and gratuity benefits; explain the principles of healthy lifestyles; and make informed decisions about Will Preparation and Estate Management.

- Hosting of four (4) annual Public Open Fora for Older Persons throughout Trinidad in August 2011. The purpose of this event was to provide a forum whereby older persons could access information, government services and benefits, and offer ideas to enhance their quality of life. Other Government Ministries were invited to display booths with information relevant to older persons, and there was an average of 300 seniors in attendance at each Forum.

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NADAPP tackles Drug Abuse in South Eastern District

General News

“As young people, you have the power to reach out to your brothers, sisters and cousins who use drugs.” This was one of the messages delivered at NADAPP’s (National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme) Primary School Drug Prevention Initiative on September 28, 2011. The session took place at the Mayaro Sport and Youth Facility. NADAPP is the Ministry of Community Development’s coordinating unit for reducing drug demand across Trinidad and Tobago.
Over 340 students from 16 schools in Rio Claro, Biche and Mayaro attended the workshop. The initiative aimed at exposing pupils of standards 3 to 5 to the harmful effects resulting from the use, misuse and abuse of licit and illicit drugs.
Peggy Baptiste, Project Analyst II, NADAAP also encouraged the youngsters to take an active role in drug rehabilitation. “NADAPP has a list of treatment centres for persons who abuse alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and other drugs. We have a list of these centres that you can contact.”
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New Board of Management for La Horquetta Regional Complex

General News Members of the new Board pose with Minister Baksh, and MP for La Horquetta/ Talparo, Jairam Seemungal, shortly after receiving their instruments of appointment.

The Honourable Nizam Baksh, Minister of Community Development urged residents of La Horquetta and environs to participate in the Clean and Beautify Competition, a component of the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition for 2012. The prize for the winners of this segment of the competition has been increased to one million dollars for fiscal year 2011 – 2012. The Minister made the appeal, as he delivered the keynote address during a Ceremony which was held to officially install a new Board of Management for the La Horquetta Regional Complex today, Monday September 26, 2011.

The Installation Ceremony began at 4:30 pm, as residents gathered at the facility to witness the appointment and installation of 11 persons who have been charged with the responsibility of managing and overseeing the operations of their community facility.
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Drug Education Workshops for Pre and Primary Schools now on

General News

The National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme (NADAPP) Secretariat is hosting workshops as part of its strategy to prevent and reduce the demand for licit and illicit drugs this week. These workshops are scheduled as follows:

• Primary School Workshop
Wednesday September 28, 2011 from 9:00 am – 11:30 am
Venue: Mayaro Sports/Youth Facility
#41 Plaisance Road, Mayaro

• Pre-School Workshop
Friday September 30, 2011 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Venue: Fanny Village Community Centre, Point Fortin

A pre-school workshop also took place earlier today, Monday September 26, 2011 at the JR&D Convention Centre, St. Croix Road, Princes Town.

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Export Centres to improve in 2012

General News

Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Nizam Baksh says his Ministry plans to revise the mandate of the Export Centres Company Limited to take it to a new level in the next financial year.

Addressing a Republic Day staff brunch at the ECCL’s office on the Eastern Main Road in Mount Hope this morning, he said the company’s management, including its Board of Directors, must look at what ECCL can do to take the craft trade on a larger scale.

Minister Baksh said he wants to see the ECCL become a business enterprise and challenged staff members to put forward their ideas for development. He said one must look at new things to take any organization forward and this can only be achieved with the full support of its staff. He also expressed the view that more of the graduates should get into the craft business after they complete courses run by the ECCL.

The Export Centres Programme is mandated to empower members of village communities through the production of craft for the export market.

ECCL’s main objective is to provide export-specific training for persons who previously received basic training in craft development at the Community Development Division’s training or those who benefitted from other relevant training exposure.

Caption: Minister Baksh samples some mango chow made by ECCL staff members, who faced off in a chow-making competition at the brunch.

CREDITS: Photo courtesy the Ministry's Communications Unit
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Minister Baksh opens Inaugural Senior Citizens Parliament

General News
Minister Baksh welcomes Minister of the People and Social Development, Dr. the Hon. Glenn Ramadharsingh. At right is Speaker of the House, Senator, the Hon. Wade Mark. Also looking on at left is Margaret Farray, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Community Development

A Cross section of the Senior Citizen Parliamentarians during the debate