Archive for the 'Recession' Category

Crying over Caroni’s evaporated aged rums

By Raffique Shah
August 02, 2018

Raffique ShahSometimes when you live long enough, you get around to enjoying the proverbial “last laugh”, or, in this case, the “last cry”, depending on your perspective.

On Republic Day 2000, I wrote a story in the now-defunct Independent newspaper telling of a report compiled by a professional “alcohol valuator”, American Robert Fuchs, that assessed the value of the aged rum stocks that Caroni Ltd held at its bonds on the compound of the distillery at Caroni Village.

Fuchs told Caroni that its 18,000-plus casks of rum of varying vintages, if converted into premium aged rums on a phased basis, could gross between TT $1 billion and $6 billion, depending on “intent of product”.
Continue reading ‘Crying over Caroni’s evaporated aged rums’

The housing conundrum

By Raffique Shah
June 28, 2018

Raffique ShahAt two ends of the nation’s housing spectrum there are seemingly intractable problems that defy solutions unless the population is prepared to change the cultural mores that have contributed to us facing this conundrum.

At the base, we see tens of thousands of citizens ranging from low-income workers to no-income “lochos” clamouring for Government to provide housing for them. Many among these can afford to pay the subsidised rental or mortgage rates that the Housing Development Corporation, either directly or through certain mortgage facilities, charges for its low-end units.
Continue reading ‘The housing conundrum’

Imbert’s Casual Cruelty

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 21, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am always struck by Colm Imbert’s casual cruelty; his notion that he possesses superior wisdom; is always in the right; and his access to privileged information makes his utterances irrefutable. Such advantages, he believes, give him the right to demean and insult anyone he chooses.

On May 11 he was at his most incorrigible presumably because God blessed T&T with greater accesses to nature’s riches than say Jamaica. He accused Mariano Brown, Patrick Watson, Roger Hosein, Indera Sagewan-Alli, and Maria Dukharan of being “unfair and biased in their criticisms of Government’s handling of the economy” (Guardian, May 13).
Continue reading ‘Imbert’s Casual Cruelty’

Harness the best cocoa in the world

By Raffique Shah
May 16, 2018

Raffique ShahSometimes it pays to stay aloof of the noise that tends to pollute discussions on issues as important as the state of the national economy and efforts to resuscitate it. Last week, Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s mid-year review of the fiscal 2017-2018 Budget, which has been elevated to a media event, degenerated into a political slugfest involving several prominent economists and political commentators, and cantankerous Colm.
Continue reading ‘Harness the best cocoa in the world’

Imbert paints brighter mid-year picture

Economy turning around

By Gail Alexander
May 11, 2018 – guardian.co.tt

Colm ImbertAfter two and a half years of financial adjustment, Government’s now seeing its way.

The economy is turning around, revenue collection is up, the energy sector’s booming and the non-oil sector is also growing, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced yesterday.
Continue reading ‘Imbert paints brighter mid-year picture’

Shelve property tax as energy revenue rises

By Gail Alexander
May 10, 2018 – guardian.co.tt

Opposition Chief Whip David LeeThe Government should not institute the property tax since Finance Minister Colm Imbert recently said T&T has “turned the corner” and also projected “good news” in today’s mid-year Budget review, says Opposition Chief Whip David Lee.

“He has painted a more positive outlook for T&T in recent weeks. Also, energy prices are better than before. If the situation is really good, Government should have no need to pursue the property tax and inflict further hardship on the public,” Lee said yesterday.
Continue reading ‘Shelve property tax as energy revenue rises’

Growing Our Cultural Capital

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 23, 2018

“As everyone knows, priceless things have their price.” —Pierre Bourdieu, The Forms of Capital

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDr. Roodal Moonilal is a sophisticated intellectual who spent six years at the Institute of Social Studies at the Hague, in Holland, where he received a doctorate in history. In fact, he announced with justified pride: “I became the first student in the history of the Institute to graduate with a distinction in a PhD for my thesis (sic)” (Newsday, June 27, 2010). One would have thought that he was acquainted with Pierre Bourdieu’s thinking on the importance of cultural capital and its immense value to a society.
Continue reading ‘Growing Our Cultural Capital’

Slaves to technology

By Raffique Shah
April 11, 2018

Raffique ShahAt the recent launch of its newest smart-phone, Samsung’s sales manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, Terry Weech, was asked what was the best feature of the Galaxy S9. Without hesitation, he said, “The camera!” He proceeded to promote the US $1,000-plus device’s 12- megapixel camera that captures photographs and videos that are “comparable with the quality used by media houses”, but said hardly a word about its communications prowess and other features that might propel me to hobble off to the nearest mobile phones dealer and buy one.

And I sat in my chair and wondered…
Continue reading ‘Slaves to technology’

Too little, too late?

By Raffique Shah
March 23, 2018

Raffique ShahIt may well be a case of too little, too late. It might even be a classic case of trying to set right an historical economic wrong when the oil barrel is about to run dry. But for sure, Government’s Rip Van Winkle’s rude awakening to the reality that Trinidad and Tobago has for far too long been gang-raped by the large energy corporations, with the complicity of its mothers and stepmothers (successive governments and some of the elites), reduces informed patriots to a mixture of tears and guffaws.
Continue reading ‘Too little, too late?’

Realistic rates hikes for T&TEC

By Raffique Shah
March 07, 2018

Raffique ShahAs the nation grapples with two seemingly intractable problems, crime and the economy, we pay little or no attention to two critical issues that are bound to generate a furore sometime soon—increases in water and electricity rates.

The Regulated Industries Commission (RIC), which determines how much the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and the Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) can charge consumers for these vital supplies, has indicated it will soon set in motion the procedures that will guide it with respect to granting or denying these agencies rate increases.
Continue reading ‘Realistic rates hikes for T&TEC’