You are here
Finance Minister: Govt to reduce fuel subsidy
As the Government continues to roll out its compressed natural gas (CNG) programme, the fuel subsidy will also be reduced, Finance Minister Larry Howai said yesterday. “The debate on CNG as a fuel for motor vehicles has been a long one, and its speed of implementation is not as initially expected.
The transition to CNG by motorists and fleet owners has been constrained by several factors, such as an inadequate refuelling experience, the requirement for frequent refuelling and the substantial disincentive from the fuel subsidies,” he said in the feature address on the second day of the T&T Energy Conference at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel, Port-of-Spain.
“We have developed a business plan for the more aggressive roll out of a CNG programme over the next five years. Furthermore, it must be understood that in order to facilitate this change, the fuel subsidy must be continually and gradually reduced.
This type of institutional inefficiency has served to incentivise waste and inefficiency, and it must be understood that if we are to hinge our national prosperity on events other than energy windfalls, our behaviour must change. CNG convertibility is part of this thrust,” he said.
The minister spoke of other challenges in the energy sector, but said Government has taken steps to deal with those problems. Howai said incentives approved in the House of Representatives on Monday night will spur an increase in foreign investment in the energy sector. These include developing inactive fields, increasing the competitiveness of the fiscal regime and developing fields where there is associated gas.
He added that investments in the near future will help revitalise the energy sector. “Finally, the downstream industry sector, on which most of our prosperity of the last decade has been built, will require significant rethinking.
The initial building of robust upstream activity, which is critical if we are to address our reserves position which has been a major inhibitor for new investment in the sector. It is unfortunate that this activity was not undertaken ten years ago,” he said.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.