Sunday 18 August, 2019

T&TEC operating at loss with hefty wage bill and $120M in overtime

State-owned company, Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) has been operating at a loss since 2011, with hefty wage and overtime bills.

This was revealed on Wednesday at a Public Accounts Committee, at which the Audited Financial statements of the Commission for the years 2008-2015 was examined.

T&TEC chairman Keith Sirju said the company has been operating at a loss for last seven years.

Sirju admitted this is one of the major issues facing the state-owned company.

This as he said that all is not with T&TEC, as it is financially constrained.

 “If you look at the accounts, you will see from around the year 2011 to present, T&TEC’s income simply cannot meet its expenditure. So every year for the past how many years that is, it is running at a loss and I think that is a hurdle that has to be overcome,” Sirju said.

The T&TEC chairman said clearly if the company is running at a loss all these years there must be something wrong and questioned whether there is fat to be trimmed.

He said he thinks it is related to the price at which electricity is being sold.

That price has not been adjusted for almost eight years,” Sirju noted.

Meanwhile, T&TEC’s general manager Kelvin Ramsook revealed to committee members that the state-owned company’s annual wage bill stands at $900 million.

He added that low productivity and high absenteeism are of concern to management.

Ramsook assured that T&TEC is dealing with the issue of low productivity.

He was asked as to whether there was a nexus between high absenteeism and overtime cost.

Ramsook revealed that the company has an overtime cost of $120 million a year.

A large part of that overtime is necessary. I can certainly tell you I have gone into in detail and looked at when we had to deploy our crews and where we had to deploy,” he said.

However, Ramsook noted that there is room in there for improvement.

It was also revealed that T&TEC owes NGC for the supply of gas.

Ramsook said the matter is engaging significant attention by the line minister and board.

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