Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 6th 2014 Contents A15
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DELIVERING TRADITIONAL MEDIA
In this Thursday, Dec 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo,
Inc, shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one
of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without
licensing agreements. AP PHOTO
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said he
is very pleased with Standard and Poor s
(S&P) affirmation of T&T s foreign and local
currency sovereign credit ratings as "A/A-
1". The S&P report was published on Decem-
A statement from the Energy Ministry noted
that S&P's positive economic assessment of
the country was based on a positive outlook
for the national energy sector.
The ratings agency said: "We expect per
capita GDP to rise by 2.6 per in 2014 thanks
to both recovering energy output and con-
tinued growth in the nonenergy sector."
From late 2010 to 2013 the energy sector
experienced a series of planned maintenance
events led by the country's largest natural gas
producer, bpTT. Ramnarine said these main-
tenance events are now largely behind us,
2014 is expected to be the best year for natural
gas production since 2010.
The S&P report was also positive on the
ability of T&T to attract new investment in
its energy sector, noting that "changes in tax
and other policies in recent years have encour-
aged more activity in the energy sector, as
we've seen in growing private-sector partic-
ipation in recent onshore and offshore bidding
"As a result, official reserves of gas and
oil---which had declined in recent years---may
stabilize in the coming years."
The ministry pointed out in its statement
that the S&P report "speaks to investor con-
fidence in the national energy sector in the
last three years".
During this time progressive revision of the
fiscal regime governing the energy sector has
• The highest ever foreign direct investment
(FDI) in the energy sector of US$ 2.3 billion
• The signing of seven deepwater production
sharing contracts worth US$1.9 billion in FDI.
• The signing of a project development
agreement with Mitsubishi of Japan for the
establishment of a $US 850 million Methanol
to DME plant in La Brea."
The S&P report continued" "The increase
in exploration activities in the oil and gas
sector in recent years should sustain energy
production over the coming decade, con-
tributing to economic growth." The Energy
Ministry said 2014 is expected to be one of
the busiest for the energy sector in more than
"Altogether there are 14 exploration wells
carded to be drilled by various companies in
This will undoubtedly contribute to new
discoveries of hydrocarbons which will sustain
the prosperity of Trinidad and Tobago into
Positive outlook for energy sector
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados---The National Union
of Public Workers (NUPW) has accused the Fre-
undel Stuart government of using technical
maneuvers ahead of the January 15 date for trim-
ming the public service by an estimated 3,000.
NUPW general secretary Dennis Clarke said as
many as 500 workers attached to the Drainages
Division had been sent home on the last day of
"They would have been given fixed term contracts
and in a lot of cases with the people from the
Drainage, their fixed terms contracts would have
come to an end on the 31st day of December.
"Nobody is looking at the fact that these are
persons who would have been on for four, some-
times five years, in a temporary situation, who, in
my view, should have been appointed to the post
that they were in," Clarke said.
"That is the methodology being used to get rid
of these people, which means then that they are
not coming to the table to sit with the NUPW and
the BWU (Barbados Workers Union) to work things
out. "These people are members of either of the
unions and we should have been at the table,
looking at how we are going to deal with these
particular situations," Clarke said.
"They never had permanent employment. They
had these contracts that they would renew and
renew and renew. One needs to ask, now, what is
going to happen to these people and their chil-
"We will sit and listen to them and we will take
information and we will get to the Ministry of the
Civil Service to look at the approach to ensure that
we have a process similar to what happening in
1991 and what happened in 1982. That is what we
are aiming for," Clarke said.
Meanwhile, the BWU says finding a job will be
a tough proposition in the future.
BWU general secretary Sir Roy Trotman in his
New Year's message said that given the layoffs in
the public service, Barbadians may find themselves
challenged to get employment.
"We are educating persons but we are not able
to find the areas of employment for them. We have
a significant challenge where we have several people
even with tertiary qualifications and no place where
we may engage them," he said.
He said in such circumstances, the government
must understand it was the main employer and it
was either "going to employ people and pay them,
or you are going to have them unemployed and
feed them at the public's expense in your public
institutions, including in your jails".
Last year, the Stuart administration said that
the plan to cut public service jobs would result in
the government saving as much as Bds$143 million.
It also agreed to institute a "strict programme of
attrition" across the central public service, filling
posts only where it is absolutely unavoidable, over
the next five years, ending 2018-2019.
"This attrition is expected to reduce central gov-
ernment employment levels from approximately
16 970 to 14, 612 jobs---a projected loss of 2 358
posts; and savings of Bds$121 million. Over the
current 19-month adjustment period public sector
employment will be reduced by an additional 501
jobs with a projected savings of Bds$26 million,"
said Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Chris
T&T's inflation rate has fallen from 7 per
cent at the beginning of 2013 to 4 per
cent at the end of November, data from
the Central Statistical Office (CSO) has
confirmed. CSO data provided by the
Central Bank of T&T show that November
inflation stood at 4.4 per cent, up from
October when it was 2.7 per cent, but
down from the beginning of the year
when Central Bank Governor Jwala
Rambarran said it was "just over 7.0 per
cent." Last month Central Bank Governor
Jwala Rambarran had said: "A key
mandate of the Central Bank is price
stability, which roughly translates into
keeping underlying inflationary pressures
well contained. Inflationary pressures
have eased over the course of 2013. After
beginning 2013, at just over 7.0 per cent
(year-on-year), headline inflation slowed
to about 4.5 per cent by November 2013.
"The slowdown in inflation was largely
associated with a steady fall in food price
inflation reflecting increased domestic
production of agricultural supplies, more
favorable weather conditions, and an
easing of global food prices. Meanwhile
core inflation, which excludes food prices,
has been low and stable over the first
eleven months of the year, ranging
between 2-3 per cent, and indicative of
relatively subdued demand pressures."
Inflation falls to 4.4 per cent
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine
B'dos government starts
sending home workers
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