Colm disagrees with Central Bank

Central Bank Governor Dr Alvin Hi­laire’s estimation that the Venezuelan migrant crisis could cost Trinidad and Tobago $620 million per year has been described as “unfortunate” by ­Finance Minister Colm Imbert.

Imbert said yesterday he was uncertain how the Central Bank arrived at this figure, presenting ­instead much lower statistics which he said were provided, at his request, by the Immigration Division.

Imbert said the data shows much lower numbers of migrants for 2019, and for previous years, than appear to have been assumed.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet news briefing at the ­Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, Imbert said ­inaccurate figures were running through the system, such as a claim of some 40,000 Venezuelan nationals having arrived here this year.

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