Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 8th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
On the eve of a statement today from Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar about the impact
of falling oil prices on the state of the economy,
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine says he is cer-
tain the sector will withstand the period of falling
Addressing major energy sector players at the
opening of Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd s
(PPGL) administration building at Couva yesterday,
Ramnarine said the outlook for the energy sector
for 2015 remained very strong.
He also expects 2015 to be a very strong year
of investment in the energy sector.
"We have faced these challenges before," Ram-
narine said, pointing out that he did not want to
pre-empt what the PM will say on the subject
today in the Parliament.
"Of course the revenue will be impacted and
we are very concerned but our energy sector is
strong and its strength will be tested by the low
price environment," he added.
The revenue stream from the energy sector con-
tributes to 50 per cent of Government s overall
revenue, with 16 per cent coming from PPGL,
which, he said, was established during a very dif-
ficult economic period in this country in 1989.
PPGL has now become the largest gas processing
facility in the western hemisphere and the axis of
the gas industry in T&T, he said.
Answering questions from the media, Ramnarine
said so far low oil prices had not affected the capital
investment programme for 2015. He said he spoke
with the CEOs of all the major energy companies
in T&T about that on Monday.
"I started off with bpTT and I spoke to BHP,
BGTT, I spoke to Mr Indar Maharaj, who is our
president of the NGC this morning (Wednesday).
"The capital investment programme for 2015
from the energy sector is very significant and it
has not been affected thus far by the downturn
in international oil prices and gas prices," he said.
He assured: "The companies are constantly being
looked at, their capital investment, but the feedback
coming to the Ministry of Energy thus far is that
the capital investment programme for 2015 will
As to whether Government will have to adjust
its fiscal regime to attract investment in light of
falling oil prices, Ramnarine said back in the late
1980s there was an adjustment to the tax rate. He
said they have done a lot of work with the fiscal
regime in the last four years.
"But we are now in a different world from where
we were in 2011 and 2012. There is a Cabinet-
appointed committee chaired by PS Vishnu Dhan-
paul that looks, on a regular basis, at the fiscal
regime and would recommend changes," he noted.
He also said Government may look at the tax
regime governing the sector, as some people have
recommended tax breaks as an incentive to keep
the investment flowing.
A couple of inches was the relatively
short distance which proved to be the dif-
ference between life and death for 18-
month-old Imani George whose head was
grazed by a bullet in a brazen shooting
attack in east Port-of-Spain on Tuesday
George remained warded in a stable con-
dition yesterday at the Wendy Fitzwilliam
Paediatric Hospital, Mt Hope, yesterday.
His mother, Lichel Francois, whose right
forearm was the final destination of the
bullet after it struck the toddler, was treated
and discharged from hospital yesterday
morning but remained there to monitor his
As she left her son s bedside for five min-
utes to speak with media personnel yesterday
afternoon, Francois thanked God as she
admitted their injuries could have been worse
if the bullet s trajectory was slightly different.
"It could have been worse. He (Imani) is
just in a lot of pain but he playing and eating,"
Francois said as she gave an update on her
son s condition.
Francois, who said she was deeply trau-
matised by the incident, vowed not to return
to that area of Port-of-Spain again.
"I used to pass there everyday on my way
home with my son but I can t do that again.
Port-of-Spain getting scary. You can t linger
in town anymore," Francois said.
Recounting the incident, Francois, who
is employed at the St James Early Childhood
Centre, said she was feeling ill on Tuesday
and left work early to return to her home
at Trou Macaque Road, Laventille.
Francois and George had just boarded a
taxi on Nelson Street when upon reaching
the intersection with Prince Street she heard
a loud explosion.
"I start to quarrel with the driver because
I thought he ran over a glass bottle. Is only
when I heard a next noise I realised it was
gunshots," Francois said.
The young mother said she told the taxi
driver to drive to the Port-of-Spain General
Hospital after she felt a burning sensation
in her arm and saw that her son was bleed-
ing. She said she did not see the shooter as
her head was down at the time.
"It had plenty traffic and we weren t going
anywhere. I jumped out of the car with him
(George) in my arms and I start to run to
the hospital," Francois said.
Mom of shot baby thanks God for life but says:
KUDOS FOR DOCTORS
Francois said she was lucky to see a police
car responding to the scene of the shooting,
stopped it and was taken to the hospital.
Asked about the treatment she received
there and later in Mt Hope, Francois
described the staff at both institutions as
wonderful and kind.
"They attended to us immediately.
Doctors and nurses even came by his
bedside last night to pray for him," Francois
The T&T Guardian also spoke with
Francois' mother, Hazelyn Harewood-
Edwards, who sent a message to the
perpetrators of the shooting.
"Black people, you need to put down
your guns because you are not serving a
purpose. All you are doing is hurting people
just like you," she said.
Police sources were said to be reviewing
CCTV footage of the incident up to last
night in an attempt to identify the suspects.
From preliminary reports from
eyewitnesses, however, police said the
gunshots appeared to have come from a
white car with five people. It stopped near
the taxi at around 2.45 pm.
Investigators are yet to determine who
was the target of the shooting and the
motive behind it. However, they believe
Francois and her son were in the wrong
place at the wrong time. No one had been
arrested up to late yesterday.
ASP Ajith Persad, Insp Etienne and Sgt
Spence and detectives of the Port-of-Spain
CID are continuing investigations.
Hazelyn Harewood, mother of Lichel
Francois and grandmother of Imani
George, who were shot on Tuesday at the
corner of Nelson and Prince Streets, Port-
of-Spain, speaks with the T&T Guardian at
her home at Trou Macaque, Laventille,
yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Links Archive January 7th 2015 January 9th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page