Ministry approved 1.3 Million for Divali celebrations
In response to criticism about the lack of funding for Divali, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts revealed that it has approved from its 2017/2018 budget allocation the sum of $1,315,000 for Divali celebrations 2017.
In a release, the Ministry said $750,000 has been allocated to The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha of Trinidad and Tobago, $500,000 to the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) and $65,000 to smaller organisations for their respective celebrations.
The Ministry said both the Maha Sabha and the NCIC were advised by phone of the approved allocation on October 11, 2017.
In a release issued the day before Divali, Princes Town MP Barry Padarath called on the Government to be equitable in its distribution of state funding for religious observances as he compared the $18 million allocations received by Tobago for cultural events.
Padarath also questioned the Government’s commitment to arts and culture in the country since he said the budget figures do not reflect any investment in these areas as an avenue for diversification.