Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Tobago truckers get warning from London
Tobago truckers who purchase aggregate from the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) Studley Park Quarry at a subsidised price of $72.64 per ton and sell it for as much as five times more than that price have received a warning from Chief Secretary Orville London. He said an investigation into complaints about availability of materials and pricing showed that there was a lack of regularisation of distribution and the price of transportation of aggregate.
London said the public was also unaware that aggregate can be bought from the Division of Infrastructure and Public Utilities and not the truckers themselves. As a result, various transportation entities have been taking advantage of the situation and setting the price of material as high as $3,000 to $4,000 for a load for which they paid only $600.
“So we are actually subsidising the aggregate, the whole process, but the consumer whom we want to help is not benefitting. I am saying that is one of the issues, one of the areas we want to put some emphasis and whether it means buying our own trucks I do not know,” London said.
“This is something this administration is not going to tolerate because you cannot take taxpayers’ money and subsidise an operation to benefit taxpayers and a few unscrupulous individuals benefitting from it. I just want to put these entities on notice that the situation is not going to continue for very much longer because it is not right it is not fair you can’t buy something for $600 and transport it down the road and sell it for five times the cost when we are subsidising it.”
He said the quarry was one of Tobago’s most important assets and over the years the THA had made significant investment and every effort to ensure it was operated in a manner that benefits the people of Tobago. London said during this fiscal year the THA is going to demand value for money.
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