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Le Hunte optimistic about T&T’s economic recovery

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
President of the Rotary Club of Port-of-Spain Alain Laquis, left, welcomes Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte, who was the guest speaker at the club’s luncheon at Goodwill Industries in Woodbrook, yesterday. At centre is past president Major Lawrence Wilson. PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ

Economic recovery for T&T is just around the corner, according to Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte.

“All is not lost and developments in the second half of 2017 have confirmed that the economy is on the brink of a slow and hopefully a steady recovery. Firstly, we are taking steps to stop the hemorrhaging. This will be accomplished as we continue to keep a handle on expenditure, while introducing a number of fiscal reforms as tax reform strategies which will include the Revenue Authority.”

Le Hunte spoke yesterday at a Rotary Club meeting in Port-of-Spain.

He said everyone in the country is aware of the “sobering” picture painted by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in his recent budget presentation.

He added that the measures proposed in the budget were designed to fix a “lopsided” economy.

“One thing for certain is that we just cannot go on this way.”

Le Hunte also made reference to the Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (WASA), stating that company would be embarking on an aggressive leak management programme.

“Over 50 per cent of the water that is produced in the country finds itself out in the drains and it does not reach the consumer. There is cultural change that is required at WASA. We have 2,000 leaks in the country. By the end of the year we want that to be reduced to 200 leaks.”

Speaking about the money owed to the National Gas Company (NGC) by the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) Le Hunte said that they were looking at ways in which the debt will be paid.

“We are looking at proposals from some of our lending agencies and we are deciding on which ones which will suit the needs. Within two months a decision will be taken. The amount of money that is outstanding now is in the vicinity of $3.5 billion and we have to find a solution to settle that debt between T&TEC and NGC,” he said.

He also called on the population to conserve the amount of water that they use as he said the wastage of water in the country is not just from WASA but also from citizens themselves.

“Because water is so cheap, we misuse it. We also have to look at the issue of metering.”