Lee: Paria’s financial woes pose grave consequences for every citizen

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Lee: Paria’s financial woes pose grave consequences for every citizen

Pointe-a-Pierre MP, David Lee, believes that the damning reports that state-owned Paria Fuel trading company is cash strapped and unable to pay for its fuel imports signals a looming national crisis that poses grave catastrophic consequences for every citizen of this nation that has been solely created by this PNM government’s reckless, destruction of Petrotrin.

In an online statement, Lee said, “These revelations while deeply worrying and potentially crippling for the national economy come as no surprise as for years, we have warned this government that their absurd actions to shut down our Petrotrin refinery would totally destroy our fuel security. Today we have proof that this Government’s baseless, illogical and ludicrous decimation of the refinery has sunk our nation to a new low, embarrassing us regionally, as we have regressed from a country that once supplied fuel to the Caribbean to a nation being unable to pay for fuel imports.”

Lee said, “From the very start, this government was aware of the financial difficulties facing Paria hence the updated Financial statements of the Holding Company, Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Limited (TPHL) were delayed in past years. This government simply wanted to cover up that these new companies were not successful or even on equal par with Petrotrin as this government even gave Heritage Petroleum Company Limited a “bligh” on paying Supplemental Petroleum Tax (SPT) for two years while energy companies continued to pay the Supplemental Petroleum Tax.”

However, Lee added, “the Minister of Finance must tell the country, why did he fail to ensure the outstanding subsidy owed to Paria by state-owned NP was paid? Is it that Minister Imbert suppressed these payments and jeopardized Paria’s ability to import fuel all in an effort to say he had a surplus for the last financial year?
It is truly astounding that when I questioned the Prime Minister about the restart of the refinery at Friday’s Parliamentary sitting, he had zero care, concern, or plan for the re-start of the refinery and worse, lacked remorse for his government decision which today has placed every home, every business and every citizen in jeopardy.”

The UNC minister further stated, “The Prime Minister labelled going back into refining as “UNC madhouse business” but the real madhouse business is a government who have robbed this nation of forex, jobs, and fuel security by leaving the refinery to become scrap metal.”

Lee said “The very fact that Paria has monopoly control for the import of fuel into our national market yet has run into financial difficulty is hardcore evidence of this government’s total inability not only to manage our national energy affairs but their absolute inability to protect the core fabric of our nation.”