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Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday insisted that the now infamous Darryl Smith matter is over and that he as Prime Minister had done all he could, including demoting and eventually dismissing Smith from his Cabinet.
Government is working on allowing merchants to make large deposits of $1oo notes at December 31 and has arrangements for Muslims to redeem their bills. However, there was uncertainty as to whether businesses can refuse to accept the old $100 banknotes before the December 31 deadline.
The Financial Intelligence Unit of T&T (FIU) is reminding financial institutions and listed businesses of their legal obligation to submit Suspicious Transaction/Activity Reports (STRs/SARs) to the FIU, during the transition period to the new $100 polymer, where they know or reasonably suspect that the funds used for the transaction are the proceeds of criminal conduct or related to the financing of terrorism.
As the newly elected councillors of the Siparia Regional Corporation took their oath of office yesterday, People's National Movement (PNM) members are already gearing up to let their voices be heard.
Their voices are all they have as outgoing chairman Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh confirmed that the United National Congress now has the majority to win all votes. The UNC has the edge over the PNM by a margin of six-three. A quorum comprises of seven votes and Ramadharsingh explained that the UNC will swear in two aldermen, taking their votes to eight.
In last week's local government elections, the PNM lost ground in the Siparia Regional Corporation when it lost the Siparia West/Fyzabad seat. Following the 2016 elections, former Siparia East/San Francique councillor Leo Doodnath declared himself an independent from the UNC and did not always vote in favour of his party. It meant that the voting on motions would sometimes result in the tie, especially when the PNM members walked out.
But at yesterday's ceremony, Ramadharsingh said this will no longer work.
"We had a member who became independent, so you would have to bargain, negotiate and talk to him at every turn because the council needed to approve everything. It was difficult to know, at any one time, if you would get support on any matter. So that had us in a state of indecision and that stopped some of the big projects that we wanted to do. Some of the great things that we wanted to do, we could not have done it. With this majority, they can do a lot of things by consulting among themselves.
When the UNC appoints the aldermen, they will have eight. The UNC alone can form its own caucus so the issue of PNM walkouts will not be featuring at the Siparia Regional Corporation because it will be of no worth and value," Ramadharsingh said.
Brighton/Vessigny councillor Gerald Debesette said the PNM members will continue to work as a team, with three councillors and two aldermen. Debesette said when he first became a councillor in 2010, the PNM only got three seats and were still a force. He said while the UNC has the majority, the common goal was the work for the people.
"We will try to deal with it, whatever confronts us. At the end of the day, our voices will be heard. We won't just lay down and play dead. We will represent and definitely, our voices will be heard," Debesette said.
He said when Ramadharsingh came in, there was a high-handed attitude, with the former Minister of the People "still thinking he was an MP". The PNM members even brought a motion of no confidence in Ramadharsingh, which was defeated. However, Debesette said the council was able to settle and work together. At 63, he said this is his last term as a councillor.
Noting that there were four new members of the council, Ramadharsingh advised them to seek guidance from the experienced members. As to whether he will return, Ramadharsingh said that was up to the party as he is a candidate for alderman.
The Ministry of National Security is warning citizens not to attempt to replace their ill-gained funds with clean money as the country transitions from old to new $100 notes.
Councillors of the Couva/ Tabaquite/ Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC) were warned not to be arrogant.
The UMMAH T&T Muslim Federation has instructed its attorney to initiate moves to file a constitutional motion against the legislation to take out of circulation the existing $100 dollar bills within a restricted period of time.
At least one businessman is suggesting that businesses make December 27 the last day to accept the old $100 bills.
Customers in Tobago are upset, as they believe more should be done to inform customers about the guideline for the exchange of the old for the new $100 dollar notes to ensure customer safety. Checks with several banks indicated that while there were no long lines, several persons were upset because they were sent away with cash in hand.
A High Court Judge has ordered Police Commissioner Gary Griffith to retroactively promote a police officer whose employment status had not changed almost a year after he won his lawsuit over the issue.
As the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) distributed new homes to 244 families yesterday, Housing and Urban Development Minister Edmund Dillon said this was a small figure compared to the 180,000 applicants in its database.
“That’s just a small drop in the ocean compared to the 180,000 persons who are waiting for units. You are not considering yourselves lucky, but consider yourselves in a good position this morning,” Dillon told recipients at a distribution ceremony in Cypress Hills, San Fernando.
The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is seeking the public’s help urgently in locating a missing, mentally-challenged male resident of Couva.
Members of the T&T Association of Retired Persons Ltd (TTARP) are concerned about the deadline of December 31, which has been given for all persons to change over from the old $100 bill to the new polymer note.
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