Trinidad and Tobago celebrated its 57th year of Independence on Saturday. Our citizens have many reasons to be proud of our nation. As a people we have done extremely well to be united in purpose to achieve goals and success on par or even beyond the level of some “larger nations” on the world stage.

Independence was not only about the installation of our own government or the hoisting of our own flag, but rather it was about the installation of our own hopes as a people beyond those of ­others as well as the hoisting of our own potential as a nation within the global community.

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I am amazed, actually flabbergasted, by those more qualified than me who have congratulated the finance minister for his restraint in keeping expenditure down and the deficit at the level projected.

You could taste the bitterness in the statement delivered by Gabriel Faria, chief executive officer at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

I wish to make some comments on the 2020 budget as it relates to energy, and on the energy situation in general as it currently stands and also going forward.

On August 19, my sister, Carolyn Bisnath Singh, was taken to the Accident and Emergency Department at San Fernando General Hospital. The service rendered by all members of staff was awesome. The doctor at the front desk took charge and she belted out instructions, remembering to show empathy to both the patient and myself.

Why does anyone think it’s a good idea to give everyone—citizens, non-citizens, illegal immigrants, taxpayers, freeloaders, pensioners, people earning millions per month—free light bulbs? And the obvious question is: who stands to benefit? I mean really benefit, like those who will be supplying the bulbs “free of charge”.