President of the Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT), Anya Schnoor says the government must give high priority to key legislative frameworks following the National 2017 Budget debate.
Schnoor said, “There is a tremendous legislative agenda that needs to occupy our focus at this time.” Firstly, pointing to the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), she once again appealed to the government to begin dialogue on the speedy enactment of FATCA, as soon as the budget debate is completed.
Next on the agenda she said should be the Insurance Bill and the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Act.
She said, “It was very important that the country set the stage and get the apparatus to ensure we are fulfilling all of our obligations.”
BATT believes the critical challenge remains one of implementation and the Association is fully committed in doing its part in collaboration with the Government and the Ministry of Finance for the benefit of the country.
Schnoor was speaking at the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBAF) and Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT) Financial Planning: Budget and Inflationary Measures Part II workshop, held on Thursday at Scotia Bank Hospitality Suite, Queens Park Oval.
Schnoor also called on Government to pay closer attention to fixing the tax administration and collection system, which will assist in reducing inefficient subsidies and transfers through the introduction of the Revenue Authority.
Elimination of waste and the establishment to the Revenue Authority was actually one of the common concerns the robust panel of presenters expressed, as they responded to the Minister of Finance’s 2017 Budget presentation. The panel, which comprised Marla Dukharan, Group Economist, Caribbean Banking, RBC; Garvin Joefield, Economist Manager, Economic Unit, RBL; Vaalmikki Arjoon, Lecturer in Finance and Macroeconomics, UWI also pointed to the country’s prevailing low productivity, which must be improved, corruption and institutional weakness and decades of poor financial management. They all cautioned the government to maintain the country’s debt at the required threshold to prevent any further down grade. One of the main recommendations is for the government to start saving more, as well as to improve on its fiscal management.
The main objective of the workshop, which is part of BATT’s mandate was to educate our stakeholders and customers on the major issues on the 2017 Budget presentation and equip them with the required tools to assist in navigating through this economic challenging period.
The event ended with a Financial Planning session led by Nicole Joseph, Director Tax Services, KPMG and Anthony Joseph, Managing Director, Titan Support Solutions.
For further information info, please contact:
Kelly Bute-Seaton-Executive Director
Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago