Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley justified cutbacks in funding for Divali Nagar celebrations at the event's closing ceremony in Chaguanas last night.
However, the PM pointed out that the Divali Nagar is a beacon of hope and a beacon of the expression of the best in T&T.
In delivering the feature address, Rowley said cuts were made in all areas of national spending, including operations at the Ministry of National Security.
"Divali encourages purity, not just in the cleaning of our homes, but in the purification of our hearts and our minds," according to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
In a message to Hindus who will celebrate the Festival of Lights tomorrow, the Prime Minister, in a statement said: "Such purity extends to the way in which we interact with our natural and physical environment, the strategies we employ to conserve our most vital resources and the life changes we embrace towards achieving personal goals."
Dutch beauty Preetanji Rai is Miss Divali Nagar 2018.
She took home bragging rights and a $20,000 first prize on Sunday.
Rai, of Rotterdam, in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, beat a field of seven contestants, — including five foreigners and three local contestants.
Rai said she has fallen in love with doubles, the tasty street food, during her visit to T&T.
“I tasted it this morning and this is the best thing ever,” she said.
The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts says the National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC) and the Maha Sabha have received a total of $1,250,000 for their 2018 Divali celebrations.
According to Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, the ministry and by extension the Government "is firm in its mandate to build culturally rich communities".
The ministry aid that cheques are available for collection by the NCIC and Maha Sabha, and requests for funding by other groups are currently being processed.