Clarence Rambharat

Minister of Agriculture Clarence Rambharat

THE sugar factories and the preservation of the sugar history of Trinidad and Tobago are two completely separate matters.

Responding to an urgent question in the Senate yesterday, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said in relation to the preservation of the sugar history, Sevilla House, a historic building in Couva, had been identified for conversion into a sugar museum to store the written records which have already been archived and to put on display on the grounds around Sevilla House equipment and other things related to the history of the sugar industry of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Sevilla House is as historic and as connected to the sugar industry as we could get and substantial sums were already spent to preserve that building and to also put on display some of the elements of the sugar history in this country,” he said.

“In the dismantling of the factories we are talking about things not related to manufacture of sugar,” he said.

He added however that there would be items put on display as part of the sugar museum.

“So the factories are distinct from the sugar museum,” Rambharat stressed.

He said he had taken note of newspaper articles on the issue and the petition that was circulating.

He said however he believed that much of it was driven by misinformation.

The process of demolishing the sugar mills at Usine Ste Madeleine and Brechin Castle has caused a petition to be drafted to save the historic factories.

Rambharat said the management of the former Caroni assets was the responsibility of four Ministries- Finance, Rural Development and Local Government, Culture and Community Development and Agriculture.

He said in 2003 a decision was taken to discontinue factory operations at Brechin Castle and through the Vesting Act of June 2006, the assets of the former Caroni (1975) Ltd were distributed to the Sugar Manufacturing Company and Rum Distillers.

He said in 2009, a decision was taken to dismantle the factory at Brechin Castle and the one at Usine Ste Madeleine and to put in place arrangements for the other non-sugar assets under the Sugar Manufacturing Company.


TWO DAYS after S&P Global Ratings downgraded Republic Bank Ltd and First Citizens Bank, the regional credit rating agency, CariCRIS, reaffirmed the assigned the rating of Massy Holdings Ltd (Massy) and gave the local conglomerate a stable outlook.

MASTERCARD, the American network payment processing giant, has signed a multimillion dollar, multi-year and multi-country non-equity investment in T&T’s WiPay, which will lead to the roll-out of a new virtual card by the end of April.

Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC) is charged with reviewing and investigating all complaints and ‘tips’ received in relation to the securities industry, including, but not limited to, those made against broker-dealers, investment advisers, underwriters, reporting issuers and self-regulatory organisations.

THERE were long lines outside the Central Bank in Port of Spain yesterday, as people rushed to exchange old $100 bills for new polymer notes, on the final day to complete the transaction.