Still seeking answers on Petrotrin, former workers and the refinery.
That’s what the Opposition’s pursuing according to United National Congress whip David Lee, who said yesterday that Government should have told the public the value of the refinery assets before “rushing” to offer them on the international market early next year. The Opposition is filing queries on Petrotrin for a reply in Parliament today.
“The issue of procurement looms large in this aspect of the Petrotrin issue since Government has said it will offer the refinery - for internationally. We’ve heard about a data room and information being prepared for people to learn about the assets, but there’s been no public word on the value or other pertinent details,” Lee said.
Lee also said despite payments to workers - including some temporary workers - there are others who are in “limbo” regarding benefits since they worked temporarily at Petrotrin for a majority of years but were permanent for a minority of years.
On the Income Tax Amendment Bill which was passed in the Senate on Tuesday- after large amendments and passage in the Lower House last week - Lee said the Opposition will monitor Government’s next step after the bill is proclaimed. The bill was needed to meet the Caribbean Financial Task Force and Global Forum formats to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion respectively.
The bill’s passage met CFATF’s recent deadline but clauses of the bill required to meet GF formats were deleted in order for Government to pass it with a simple minority of votes. The Opposition refused to provide the support which the bill needed for special majority clauses to be passed.
Following Tuesday’s passage, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said the bill will be proclaimed and sent to the Global Forum as soon as possible.
If the GF is satisfied with the bill, T&T may have an opportunity to sign a multilateral treaty the GF had earlier refused to allow until the bill was enacted as law. The GF will also have an opportunity to say what further requirements they need for the bill and two others which were part of the initial package with the ITA bill.