Thursday 12 December, 2019

Kamla to Imbert: How much did the CLICO/BAT sale cost T&T?

Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, at the 3rd Sitting of the House of Representatives.
© 2019 Office of the Parliament.

Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, at the 3rd Sitting of the House of Representatives. © 2019 Office of the Parliament.

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is again calling for transparency in the sale of CLICO/BAT assets.

In a statement, the Opposition leader called on Finance Minister Colm Imbert to tell the country the true amount of the winning bid.

In her budget response on Friday, Persad-Bissessar asked the Minister whether or not the Central Bank’s preferred bidder offered a quarter of a billion dollars less than the winning bid.

But, the Opposition leader said new information suggests that the sum is actually $750 million.

She said the Minister must, in the interest of transparency and accountability, tell the country if this is true. 

Persad-Bissessar said the Minister was so rattled by her calls for transparency on the sale of the CLICO/BAT assets that he issued a statement during her budget response refuting statements “no one accused him of while ignoring the very specific questions”.

She reiterated her call for transparency on the sale of these assets.

“I am again calling on the Minister of Finance to divulge the extent of his role and his directions with respect to the CLICO/BAT assets. If there is nothing to hide then there is no reason to avoid the question. He must further answer the three-quarters of a billion-dollar question.”

“The days of the Rowley regime conducting the nation's affairs in secrecy are over. The days of distraction and smoke screens are over. The Rowley regime has cost this country billions of dollars with their murky deals, and the public deserves answers,” the Opposition leader concluded.

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