Colm Imbert

Finance minister: Colm Imbert

SOME of the new measures that were announced by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in the 2020 national budget have come into effect on Sunday.

In a full page advertisement yesterday, Government reminded citizens of the measures that took effect from December 1.

From this month, employees of the Unemployed Relief Programme (URP) and the Community-Based Environment Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) will get a 15 per cent increase in their wages.

Trainees of the On-the-Job Training Programme will see a ten per cent hike in their stipends while the intake for the programme will be increased from 5,000 to 8,000 trainees.

The new minimum wage of $17.50 also takes effect from this month, up from $15 per hour.

Some other measures announced in the budget will take effect from January 1.

They include:

• Increase in the solar water heating equipment tax credit from 25 per cent to 100 per cent of the cost of the solar water-heating equipment up to a maximum of $10,000

• Increase in the value of personal goods that can be imported without incurring customs duties from $3,000, which was set in 2005, to $5,000.

• Capital allowance for energy companies involved in exploration and development to be computed on a straight-line basis of 20 per cent over five years, instead of 50 percent for the first year, 30 percent for the second year and 20 percent for the third year.


NEW businesses are emerging in Trinidad and Tobago, despite the economic fallout caused by Covid-19 and one such business is the Mansion restaurant located at the corner of Maraval Road and Rust Street in St Clair.

The Mansion restaurant is a subsidiary of NCG Enterprises and opened its doors to the public last week.

WESTMOORINGS-BASED Guardian Holdings Ltd (GHL) last week floated a J$13.4 billion (about US$90 million) bond, some of the proceeds of which will be used to acquire the insurance and annuities business of an insurance company in Jamaica, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trinidad and Tobago insurance company’s Jamaican parent, NCB Financial (NCBFG). NCBFG became the majority 62-per cent shareholder of GHL in May 2019, after a protracted takeover bid.

WHOLLY State-owned crude oil producer, Heritage Petroleum, is prepared to sell the company’s crude to the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, if that billion-dollar State asset is transferred by the end of October to Patriotic Energies, the company formed by the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU).

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This year was supposed to bring great things for Guyana.

ExxonMobil discovered massive oil deposits off the South American country’s Caribbean coast in 2015, and Guyana sold its first cargo of crude oil this February. As production ramps up, its first stage offshore wells were projected to produce 750,000 barrels a day by 2025, tripling the size of Guyana’s economy, from US$3.4 billion to US$13 billion.

Property Tax is not open for debate, Finance Minister Colm Imbert has said.

Responding to questions from the public during Monday’s Spotlight on Budget 2021 event, Imbert said he was aware of many discussions on the tax.