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Tewarie: Economy not fully recovered

Published: 
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Raphael John-Lall

CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce of T&T (AmChamTT) Nirad Tewarie is not convinced that the T&T economy has fully reocvered

“I do not think it would be correct to say there is a turnaround. As we have said before, there has been some stabilization but the stabilization is, as former Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams said, in the context of a continuing deficit,” he said.

Tewarie, along with economist Marla Dukaran, weighed in on the upcoming budget during interviews on the CNC3 news on Tuesday night.

On his expectations for the fiscal package to be presented by Finance Minister Colm Imbert on Monday, he said: “What is needed are structural changes that are cross-cutting in nature. So things that are needed to access government services and do business regardless of industry and the type of business that you are doing. That would unleash economic activity, make it easier for new and young entrepreneurs as well as existing businesses” Tewarie said.

Tewarie wondered whether the country is getting value for money for the billions Government is spending and said that this is important in reforming the economy.

Dukharan, referringto the just-released International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article 4 report on T&T noted: “Those statistics were contingent around things being the way they were in August when the IMF was here. But now that we know that Petrotrin will be shut down that sheds a whole different light on things.

She noted that he IMF’s latest report projected that the country’s fiscal deficit would last until 2023.

“Unless you bring the deficit down to a point where you are not adding to your debt level we are going to continue to add on debt simply because we have a primary deficit. The IMF highlighted that yes there has been some fiscal adjustment but we need more,” she said.

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