Colm Imbert----use

NEW MEASURE: Finance Minister Colm Imbert

Following is the text of the statement delivered in the Parliament yesterday by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in announcing that a company named Patriotic, wholly owned by the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), has been chosen to purchase the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, formerly Petrotrin.

PETROTRIN, Trinidad and Tobago’s largest crude oil producer, operating the country’s only petroleum refinery, ceased refinery operations on November 30, 2018. The refinery was plagued by high and increasing debt; low productivity levels; escalating manpower costs; and an expenditure pattern of habitually surpassing its earnings and income. The refinery lost billions of dollars every year.

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FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert is assuring that the Office of Procurement Regulation would still have the power to investigate government-to-government arrangements after Government makes “slight” amendments to Section 7 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act next month.

A CALL has been made for Government to take immediate action on campaign finance reform and implementing the public procurement legislation.

Without these two pieces of legislation, says the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI), this country’s scoring on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) will remain stagnant.

Publicly listed TTNGL’s profits declined last year because the international prices of its three products—natural gas liquids propane, butane and natural gasoline—have tumbled, said Dominic Rampersad, president of Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd (PPGPL) yesterday.

EXPORTT, this country’s official export facilitation organisation, has started to think of Cuba as a critical “gateway market” to the rest of Latin America.