The Ministry of Finance’s recent budgetary cuts will result in the chopping of some of the National Cultural Foundation’s developmental programmes.

Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley revealed the situation to Barbados TODAY after he introduced the new Caricom Ambassadors Sade Jemmott and Mosiah Hoyte, to the media this evening at his office in Haggatt Hall,

St. Michael. The Minister, also responsible for youth, said that because

of the cuts the NCF will have to make some changes to their programmes, but as to the details, he noted they were still being worked out.

“There has been across-the-board cuts in all Government departments and statutory departments as to what it equates to I would have to check and tell you that but . . . that is no secret, that has been announced in the budget,” he said.

“Yes, [NCF] have indicated they will need to make some

we are all being asked to operate within a more efficient environment within the context of new efficiencies. What is required is for the programmes to be executed with efficiency in mind. If, of course, there are any challenges [and] those challenges are reported to the ministry, I am not aware of any such challenges, so I expect the programmes

will be executed.” He added: “You will learn and know that certainly there

are departments that are finding that they are ways in which they could control their cost without compromising the cost of the output of their programmes which means that there is still within the system areas of efficiency that could be addressed and I think that is the approach that is being approached across the various departments

of the ministries.” When asked if the reason why the smaller

developmental programmes were being cut was as a result of the NCF reserving the resources allocated by the Finance Minister to mainly fund Crop-Over and the NIFCA celebrations, Lashley said “that is news to me and I would have to speak to the NCF to find out if that was true or not”.

“But what I can say to you is there has been no disruptions in the normal programming of the NCF . . . and the programmes that they are required to embark on will

sponsorship, with some creative means ensure that the programmes continue . . . “Crop–Over is done a bit differently. Crop–Over does depend to some extent on Government funding [but] there is also a corporate element to sponsorship and it is too early now to say whether they will be any such impact but we are still in the very early stages of planning Crop–Over for next year.

“In terms of the NIFCA programmes, sponsors who come on board from previous years may not always remain on board for current years but within the context of the marketing strategy and if you learn that one sponsor is not coming on board move to sponsor number two. The NIFCA programme, based on my reports, have been going extremely well which tells me that there has been no compromise in terms of the quality of the programming for NIFCA,” the minister said.

“[C]ertainly the NIFCA programmes and other programmes conducted by the NCF for years have been so uplifting. If you attend any of the NIFCA performances you would see that everything has been executed in very much the same high standard that we have been accustomed to seeing. I think there has been relatively good corporate sponsorship and we welcome any further involvement in relations to those programmes,” said Lashley.

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