Gov’t gives $83M to NCC and provides funding for unsponsored pan sides

Home*Cover Story*News

Gov’t gives $83M to NCC and provides funding for unsponsored pan sides

A first tranche payment of $83,861,683 million was on Thursday given to the National Carnival Commission (NCC) as part of its subvention for Carnival 2023.

The commission has been promised a total of $147 million.

This release of funds comes on the heel of Carnival celebrations and complaints from regional bodies over a lack of funding.

Tourism and Culture Minister Randall Mitchell said the NCC only requested releases last week, and his ministry put it through to be processed by the Ministry of Finance.

In a press release on Thursday, the Culture Ministry noted that on February 9, through several requests, the NCC received funding in the amount of about $17 million.

“By the end of Friday 10, February, 2023 the NCC made a request of $83 million which included, among others, transfers to Carnival bodies in the sum of $15.3 million, and grants to regional bodies of $6.173 million. This request was promptly submitted by the (Culture) Ministry to the Ministry of Finance whose officers have been working over the weekend to ensure that this request for funding was processed.”

The release added that, on Thursday, the Finance Ministry had approved the release of $83,861,683.00 to the NCC after further supporting documents were submitted earlier on this week.

“These funds are now available and, as instructed by the Ministry, will be disbursed with despatch, accordingly.”

The Culture Ministry said it had continued to work with the NCC since the passing of the budget last October to ensure that resources would be made available for the hosting of a successful Carnival this year.

“However, this is dependent on the timely application for funding under the NCC’s budgetary allocation.”

Earlier on Thursday Mitchell distributed $1,852,500 to unsponsored steel bands and a further $3.2 million remittance payout to NCC for Panorama players and a further $1.565 million to cultural groups.

He said the money distributed in Thursday’s ceremony is separate from the $147 million allocation to the NCC.

At the grant distribution, 153 unsponsored steelbands received assistance –$15,000 for conventional and $7,500 for the single pans bands.

He further shared that Cabinet approved a $500 stipend per player to cover expenses they incurred while participating in Panorama.