Mas association demands promised waivers for Carnival

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Mas builders and bandleaders are calling on the government to act with haste to put systems in place for them to receive temporary duty and electricity waivers which will make it cheaper for them to produce costumes and other materials for carnival.
They outlined their dissatisfaction in email to the Antigua & Barbuda Festivals Commission dated May 31, and in a follow-up interview with OBSERVER media.
Vice President of the Mas Association, Barry “Zawardie” Thomas said they have not been able to construct costumes as most of the mas camps have not yet received the temporary electricity as has been the custom.
“Normally, the mas camp will get electricity by the end of February or the first week of March; we even start producing the work for our carnival and our cultural festival way before that. We are trying to get behind the authorities because right now it seems as if carnival really sick in the hospital,” Thomas charged.
This newspaper received a copy of a memo, dated May 19, from the Festivals Commission which advised the association of a Cabinet decision to grant the waivers to “all registered participants”.
However, in its May 31 follow up email, the association said it was disappointed that nothing had been put in place for them to benefit from the waivers.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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