Trinidad-Tobago Prime Minister names committee to chart way forward


Winston Dookeran, Wendell Mottley and Robert Bermudez

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad  – The Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Robert Bermudez, as well as two former finance ministers, have been included in a 22-member committee, named by Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, to chart the way forward for Trinidad and Tobago, in the aftermath of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Rowley said that he will chair the committee, which also includes former finance ministers, Wendell Mottley and Winston Dookeran. It also includes several of the country’s most prominent and prolific business and industry leaders, as well as academics and trade unionists.

Keith Rowley

“All these people will come together, to work alongside other aspects of the government effort. Their assignment, as they break themselves into smaller specialist groups, is to report to the Prime Minister, who will receive their recommendations and pick up from them, in the end, a roadmap for Trinidad and Tobago, post-COVID-19,” Rowley said, at the end of the weekly Cabinet meeting, last week

He told reporters, he expects to receive a draft of the plan, by the end of the month, and that work would continue, through May.

“I would give ourselves until the end of May, to draft this roadmap, its shape, engineering, structure and its hope for Trinidad and Tobago. We should have a document by the end of May, having consulted, widely, with other people.

“This group will be free to go out and consult, and when we finish … we are confident (about) moving into the post-COVID-19 (transition),” the Prime Minister said.

Rowley also announced that another report — commissioned by the government, and produced by prominent economist, Professor Karl Theodore — on the socio-economic impact of measures, taken by the government to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, as an immediate assessment that will then link back to longer-term policies.

He said that the first draft of that report has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance, and will be reviewed, before being sent back for revisions.