The Cabinet underwent a process of “shrinking” to just under a million dollars, additional sums requested by the Ministry of Culture, for the hosting of the country’s diamond jubilee carnival celebrations.
National Festivals Minister Paul Chet Green was seeking an additional $1.2 million but after cabinet rejected that budget it was back to the drawing board. Greene made another presentation before cabinet on Thursday.
Information Minister Melfrod Nicholas announced during today’s weekly cabinet press conference, that several things the minister wanted to do had to be cut from the budget.
“The full expectation was to do all those programmes but again based on what the cabinet felt was affordable and necessary there was some shrinking of the budget,” he said.
At the end of the day, $ 700,000.00 was approved by the cabinet to make up for what Nicholas calls a budget shortfall.
The Festivals Commission was seeking approval for a total carnival budget of $7.2m. The Minister said with the usual amount allocated for the carnival, what organisers hope to earn from gate receipts and the additional $1.2 million was what was before them originally.
Despite this, the Cabinet agreed that the efforts to promote and stage the 60th Anniversary of Carnival will be “given full support.”
Meanwhile, the return of Jam Pond with a newly constructed stage, the publication of a commemorative magazine, a Jubilee Banquet honoring the forerunners of Carnival, creation of an Emancipation (cultural) Village, and erection of a Carnival Wall of Fame are some of the new and expanded calendar for the celebration of the nation’s 60th Anniversary of Carnival.