Thursday 20 February, 2020

UNC slams Gov't for 'flip flopping' on Paria Fuel Trading Company

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

The United National Congress (UNC) is condemning what it views as the Government’s deliberate strategy to create confusion over the future of the Paria Fuel Trading Company.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Opposition noted that Energy Minister Franklin Khan told the senate that Paria Fuel was not up for sale while also saying that the company will be “leveraged” in negotiations with prospective buyers for the oil refinery.

The UNC said the Minister himself appears to be confused over the Government’s true plan for the Paria Fuel Trading Company and called on the Chairman of Petroleum Holdings Limited to provide transparency on the issue.

“The government cannot, on the one hand, commit to not selling Paria Fuel, while also saying it intends to use it as a ‘deal sweetener’ for a sale of the refinery. Perhaps Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Chairman Wilfred Espinet should clarify this, as he clearly seems to know more about the Government’s energy policy than Minister Khan.”

Meanwhile, the UNC likened the issues surrounding Paria Trading to that of Petrotrin.

“The Rowley Government first denied they had any intention to close Petrotrin, only to do exactly that in 2018. Then they denied Petrotrin was to be put up for sale, only to do that as well. Now the Government is denying they intend to sell Paria Fuel Trading Company while also saying the company will also be “leveraged” all-in the same sentence!”

The Opposition accused the government of attempting to gaslight the population on issues surrounding Trinidad and Tobago’s key energy assets.

It also criticized the “warning” the Opposition received against raising questions on the issue.

“The UNC will not be deterred from seeking answers and insist that Government provide all details on  the status of energy assets which belong to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”

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