Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 12th 2017 Contents news A13
Thursday, October 12, 2017
T&T's diesel price is now ranked
the 16th cheapest in the world fol-
lowing the removal of the subsidy.
Before last week's increase of
diesel by Finance Minister Colm
Imbert from $2.30 to $3.40 per
litre at the pumps, T&T's price
was rated as the ninth-cheapest
This was revealed by parliamen-
tary secretary in the Ministry of
Ener y Nicole Olivierre during her
budget debate contribution in Par-
Olivierre said while there are
some elements on social media
who seem to think that the in-
crease in diesel was "too drastic
and draconian," to citizens, the
country's fuel cost was not "exces-
She said in the entire Western
Hemisphere the only two coun-
tries whose fuel prices are lower
than T&T are Venezuela and Ec-
"Prior to the reading of the
budget our diesel price was the
ninth cheapest in the world. With
the minimal increase, we are now
16th in the world. But that is glob-
ally. So our increase in fuel price
is not an enormous burden for the
population to bear."
The La Brea MP drew reference
to Norway which managed to save
$1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) in a
fund coming out of their revenue
She said Norway, which is an oil
and gas producer, has the high-
est cost of diesel in the world at
US$1.84 per litre.
"That works out to something
like $12.55 per litre compared to
our mere $3.41. So you see what
a country like Norway has done
rather than put their valuable re-
serves into fuel subsidies. Instead,
they led their citizens to bear the
full cost of fuel and they were able
to save $1,000,000,000,000 in
a fund for their sustainability. So
that is a more responsible posi-
Olivierre pleaded with the pop-
ulation not to condemn the
People's National Movement
for cutting the fuel subsidy.
"This is something that
has become necessary at this
time as we recognise that the
world is moving away from
fossil fuel vehicles."
Olivierre also spoke about
the degradation of the North-
ern Range, which she attrib-
uted to illegal quarrying.
Of the 87 active mining
operators in the country, Ol-
ivierre said only seven have
valid mining licenses.
"And mine you I am not
speaking about the illegal op-
While illegal mining has be-
come a growing problem, Ol-
ivierre said there have been
no enforcement provisions to
deal with the growing issue.
"We are currently strug-
gling now with how to deal
with illegal mining oper-
In going forward,
Olivierre said Attorney
General Faris Al-Rawi
is currently re-
viewing the min-
which they will
put into an illegal
She said the previous draft
did not make provisions for
treating with the stockpiling
of mined materials.
"The illegal operators will
go with their backhoes and
trucks. They excavate the
materials. They take it to a
location. I am sure the MP
for Oropouche East (Dr Roo-
dal Moonilal) will be familiar
with this kind of operation
because I understand that a
property that he may be re-
lated with has been used as a
stockpile. I understand, I can
say for sure."
Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie sees
Government's move to set up a ministe-
rial oversight committee for construc-
tion of low income homes as a recipe
for political interference and corrup-
This was the view of Tewarie during
his contribution to the budget in Parlia-
ment on Tuesday.
Tewarie said the measures imposed in
the iscal package would drive the last
nail in the cof in of dead con idence.
"It is against people development
and new business creation. It is antago-
nistic to foreign investment."
With businesses and citizens pro-
jected to see harder days ahead,
Tewarie said unemployment will
increase, recession will deepen and
the conditions for crime and violence
"It (budget) did not make a decisive
positive difference in our current re-
ality of stress, uncertainty and loss of
hope for citizens. Sad to say after 760
days (in of ice) this is where the Finance
Minister has taken us."
While Finance Minister Colm Imbert
identi ied housing as a priority, Tewarie
said the $100,000 incentive offered to
private businesses to build low income
houses was not properly thought out.
For a developer to be successful, Tew-
arie said he/she has to be approved by
a ministerial oversight committee which
will be chaired by Prime Minister Dr
The committee will monitor and ex-
pedite the process of procuring building
approvals from regulatory agencies.
Tewarie questioned if this was nec-
essary since the then People's Part-
nership government had
established a complex de-
to address development
projects which worked
"There was no minister
involved....only public ser-
vice and State employed
Why aren't they (public
servants) being allowed to
do their work? Are they paid
Tewarie said he heard the PM said
the committee was formed to deal with
bottlenecks in the system.
As head of the National Security
Council, Tewarie said Rowley should be
tackling the bottlenecks in crime and
"This decision in my view is not an
assertion of political will. This is polit-
ical interference. And it could lead, no
one ever knows for sure in these situ-
ations, but it could lead to political pa-
tronage and corruption pure and simple.
Why does the Government have to put
their heavy hands in everything?"
Tewarie asked where was the distinc-
tion between government and politics?
"This is an unhealthy development.
My advice to the Government is to aban-
don that route."
La Brea MP Nicole Olivierre during Tuesday's Budget debate at the
Parliament Building in Port-of-Spain
PICTURE SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Bhoe says new
a recipe for
Olivierre: T&T diesel 16th
cheapest in the world
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