Speaking at the launch of the Chaguanas regional Carnival celebrations at Market Square, Chaguanas Main Road Sunday evening, Peters said, “To protect the culture of the people of Trinidad and Tobago, I am putting all bandleaders who have grown accustomed to making their costumes in India and making their costumes in China and depriving the people an opportunity to learn how to make these costumes, I am telling you now, I am going to ask Cabinet to agree to put a tariff of 2,000 percent on these costumes that come into the country fully assembled,” Peters warned.
“We are going to bring in the material because when you bring the material here our young people are going to get work to make the costumes. If you have any intention of continuing to bring ready-made costumes into Trinidad and Tobago, we have something coming for you,” Peters warned.
He reiterated this point again yesterday during the launch of the National Carnival Commission’s D People’s Band at NAPA, Port-of-Spain saying, “I intend to put a screeching halt to it.”
“We have been indulging in a kind of sub-culture where we are importing most of our Mas from India and China, while the people who are creative in our country stand idly by.
Peters said as of next year, there would be “an enormous amount of tax” on costumes that are imported fully-assembled costumes. At the Chaguanas Carnival launch, Peters made out a case for an October Carnival in Tobago saying Carnival should be viewed as business which could benefit the people of Trinidad and Tobago. “We are going to be having Carnival in Tobago in October, after Miami Carnival is finished, the place for people from around the world to be is in Tobago so we can fill the hotel rooms in Tobago and they can come and enjoy our beaches and our cuisine,” Peters said.
So get all your costumes ready, don’t throw them away, get them ready for Tobago,” Peters added.