Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 25th 2015 Contents GAIL ALEXANDER
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has
called for Energy Minister Kevin Ramnar-
ine to be taken before parliament s Priv-
ileges Committee for allegedly giving inac-
curate information during the last session
on former Petrotrin executive chairman
Malcolm Jones basic salary.
House Speaker Wade Mark said he would
rule on the matter at the next sitting since
he hadn t yet had time to consider it.
During yesterday s sitting of the House,
Rowley said Ramnarine gave inaccurate and
therefore misleading information on the
matter. He said Ramnarine had said
Petrotrin s current chief financial officer
Ronald Huff s package, with a basic salary
of $147,000 salary plus other perks, was
less than Jones base salary, which Ramnarine
said was $162,000 plus "other things."
Rowley said Ramnarine ought to have
known Jones salary was $125,000, which
was contrary to what he stated, and should
have known the figure he gave the Parlia-
ment was inaccurate.
Noting Mark s recent warnings to MPs
not to abuse parliamentary freedom of
speech, Rowley contended that Ramnarine
was in contempt of Parliament, as he had
read from a prepared statement which
showed willful intent and was "wantonly
reckless" in giving information to the House.
$4.2m on Happiness ads
In replying to Rowley s questions on the
National Gas Company (NGC), Ramnarine
detailed sums NGC spent on public rela-
tions, advertising and community relations
from 2010 to 2015.
He gave budgeted figures which ranged
from $29.9 million in 2010 to $199 million
in 2015. He also gave the actual sums spent,
which ranged from $21.7 million in 2010 to
$131 million in 2014. He said the sums for
2015 were not yet available.
Ramnarine explained that NGC s profits
had increased significantly from 2010 to
2014 and the company s policy was that
one to three per cent of its profits before
tax be devoted to promoting its brand.
As such, he said, sums had been spent
on this objective, including sponsoring the
Red Force cricket team and other activities.
He said the expenditure on branding carried
a $200 million cap.
He said surveys had shown that NGC
had been low profile, whereas companies
like bpTT spent funds to promote their
He also explained that the NGC s "HaP-
Piness" campaign, which Rowley asked him
about, cost a total of $4.25 million. He said
recipients of the money were Ross Adver-
tising and daily newspapers, radio and TV
houses. Ramnarine said the campaign was
linked to the United Nations Global Index
on Happiness survey and that T&T ranked
35 out of 156.
He said the spelling of "HaPPiness" was
an artistic expression and is seen in several
other similar presentations globally.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, April 25, 2015
The number drawn yesterday on Crime
Watch was 119712. If the number on the
Xtra Foods trolley at the back of your Friday
(April 24) T&T Guardian was 119712, you
have won $3,000 in prizes, that is $1,500
in cash and $1,500 in Xtra Foods vouchers.
You have until 3 pm Monday to come to
the T&T Guardian office, 22-24 St Vincent
Street, Port-of-Spain, with the newspaper
containing the winning number and photo
Keep your Saturday, Sunday and Monday
T&T Guardian newspapers and tune in to
Crime Watch Monday on CNC3 for the draw.
If the number drawn matches the Xtra
Foods trolley at the back of any of those T&T
Guardian papers, you have won Monday s
Several former First Citizens senior managers
are now talking to the police, in an independent
probe into the FCB/IPO share issue, Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday.
Rowley shared the information in Parliament yes-
terday as he piloted a motion of no confidence against
Finance Minister Larry Howai.
The motion was based on a preamble that "it is
an established fact that the best indication of what
could happen in the future is to observe what hap-
pened in the past," and claimed Howai came under
"serious allegations for insider trading" during his
past tenure as First Citizens CEO.
The motion stated that since Government was
moving to further dispose of state enterprises, "thereby
opening the possibility of further insider trading,"
the House should note the allegations and express
lack of confidence in Howai.
Rowley said the concerns were serious due to the
"path travelled" by Howai, who was once with FCB
and has now come "full circle" to being minister in
charge of the Treasury and the state bank. He said
the motion s purpose was to determine whether an
opportunity had existed earlier for Howai to be
involved in insider trading (in the TCL/Cemex share
matter ) and the handling of shares.
Rowley said if Howai could show that he wasn t,
the motion would have clarified the "fog" on the
matter, but if not, "we d have a problem."
He also noted that Howai had received almost $12
million when he left FCB and later entered the Cab-
inet, where he was now in charge of state assets and
the bank, but a scandal hit FCB regarding the 2014
IPO share issue. How Howai reacted to this was also
relevant, Rowley added.
As the basis for his questions, Rowley said he was
using an unsigned document which was sent to him,
adding its contents alluded to reports which he knew
existed. He said he would ask Howai questions on
People s Partnership (PP) House Leader Dr Roodal
Moonilal queried Rowley s use of this document to
build his case, but House Speaker Wade Mark said
Rowley was free to employ it in the motion but had
to take responsibility and ownership.
Rowley said the document in his possession was
the legal opinion of Henry Ford QC.
Saying Cemex tried in 2002 to buy TCL shares,
Rowley asked Howai if during his tenure at FCB he
would have recognised the Regulation and Surveillance
report of the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) prepared in response to allegations that people
were trading Cemex shares in violation of SEC rules.
He cited paragraph 23 of the report, stating, "It
appeared that Howai placed order for the purchase
of TCL shares since his name was recorded on the
TT Stock Exchange order sheet."
He also noted other contents, alleging that Howai,
in January 2002, signed a notice on price-sensitive
information acknowledging that the information he
was discussing with Cemex was price sensitive and
that his knowledge of the information would deem
him an insider. (GA)
Xtra Cash jackpot at $3,000
...Misled House on Petrotrin exec's salaries
marks the second
day of his hunger
strike at the
Maharaj said he
started the strike
Dr Keith Rowley
has refused to
raised in the public
domain about him.
yesterday he will
take a break this
KRISTIAN DE SILVA
DAY TWO Rowley raises insider
trading in House
Links Archive April 24th 2015 April 26th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page