PORT OF SPAIN — Health Minister Dr. Fuad Khan yesterday thanked soca superstar Machel Montano for the generous contribution of $100,000 donated by his band, Xtatik Limited, to the Children’s Life Fund – a brainchild of the People’s Partnership Government.
Khan also revealed the Opposition People’s National Movement contributed zero to the fund, which was established in 2010 to provide life-saving medical treatment overseas to sick children.
But the minister disclosed the lion’s share of the $75 million in donations to the fund came from the Trinidad and Tobago taxpayers, who, through the Government, donated $60 million as at January 31, 2013.
Thirty million dollars was paid in October 2011, and $30 million in December 2012.
Government ministers donated $1.4 million, paid through salary deductions, while the financially-challenged State-owned Caribbean Airlines Ltd contributed US$199,975.
Khan was responding to a question in the Senate yesterday.
PNM Senator Fitzgerald Hinds asked whether CAL gave the money after it became cash-strapped.
Hinds also asked whether the $100,000 donated by Montano might have been offset by the $5 million which the Government gave him “for an album we have never seen”.
The government had given Montano $5 million to produce the Going for Gold album. The album was, in fact, launched last year.
Khan told Hinds he would not answer a question that imputes improper motives to people.
Montano’s mother and manager, Liz Montano, told the Express her son had given the $100,000 to the Children’s Fund long before the Going for Gold project was on the cards. She said it was when he went to London in 2011.
The Going for Gold project took place last year and an album was produced by Montano.
Liz Montano said her son had told the Government he did not want any returns, and the Government should put any profits made on that project into the Music Development Fund and the Children’s Life Fund.
Among organisations contributing to the fund were the Consular Corps of Trinidad and Tobago, which gave $100,000. (Express)