Millions to be spent on Trinidad Carnival for 2012
Port of Spain, Trinidad &Tobago.-The Trinidad Carnival has been described as “big business” which now has a total allocation of $96.5 million to be spent.
Yesterday the Trinidad Cabinet approved a supplemental $53 million for the event that already had an expended budget of $43.5 million.
Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism, Winston “Gypsy” Peters explained that with Caribbean Airlines reporting 220, 000 people booked to visit the country for Carnival, which will culminate with two days of mass on February 20 and 21 at various, it was big business.
However, even with the allocation of an additional $53 million, there were some cuts to the popular carnival. These cuts will result in there being no $2 million grand prize from the Trinidad government for the Soca Monarch or Chutney Soca Monarch competitions this year, and no People’s Band, a government initiative allowing people to parade for free.
Instead, the government will contribute money to various organisations such as Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation, the National Carnival Bands Associations and Pan Trinbago, who will be responsible for raising additional funds to maintain the $2 million grand prize.
Mr Peters explained that though the Trinidad Carnival was “big business” for the country, it incurred a lot of debt. “As a matter of fact we had debt that ran over from last year, some of these contractors we owe them from last year and then we have to fund money to pay them this year…so we have a lot of money that we owe for different reasons,” he said.
However other funds have been sourced to bring 11 steelbands from Tobago to Trinidad for the Panorama semi-finals, while a further $3.2 million is expected to be spent funding meals, accommodation, ground and air transport for the band members over a four-day period.