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Panmen to collect $1.5m this week
Some $1.5 million will be paid to panmen this week. Pan Trinbago has been at the centre of controversy following the failure of payment of stipends to panmen for the 2011 Panorama season. However, the T&T Guardian learnt a number of issues contributed to the delay. Officials said poor organisation and registration errors are among the factors to be blamed for the late payout. “It was not Pan Trinbago’s fault as the organisation was waiting on funds to pay panmen. In addition, some steel bands were too delinquent in sending in their registration forms,”an official revealed. The panmen have been up in arms over the non-payment of the $1,000 stipend. The contentious issue saw Pan Trinbago and the Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston Gypsy Peters locking horns during the Carnival season as a decision was taken to reduce the payment from $1,000 to $800.
Panmen had threatened to boycott the event. However, a decision was taken by Pan Trinbago to compensate the panmen for the shortfall. More than 7,000 panmen are expected to receive their stipends on Friday. Meanwhile, a row has broken out between 2011 Panorama champions Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars and Pan Trinbago over the ten per cent deducted from the band’s $2 million first prize. All Stars is claiming that the steelband body should not touch the money as it was a special prize given by the government. Legal fireworks are expected.
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