Former Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira says this is the best time to begin lifting the fuel subsidy as T&T looks towards the mid-year budget review on April 8.
"The Prime Minister may be dealing with that issue. This is the right time to do it," she told the T&T Guardian.
"The subsidy may not be totally removed but it is important to at least begin doing it."
Nunez-Tesheira said Prime Minster Dr Keith Rowley is new in office and is still grappling with the challenges but one of the things he should be focusing on in the mid-year review is revenue generation.
"I believe that he will also be taking the advice of the Economic Advisory Board to deal with this issue," she said.
The former minister said while oil prices seem to be stabilising after the downward trend of the last two years, it is still not where it should be and Government has to look for more ways to close the fiscal deficit.
She said: "The Prime Minister will want to look at the property tax and also the rationalisation of the Gate programme. He would want to cut expenditure but at the same time he does not want to see more unemployment," she said.
Also weighing in on the issue was Ibrahim Ali, public relations officer of the San Juan Business Association, who said the cost of living will increase drastically if Government lifts the fuel subsidy.
"If they do that costs will go up, business might not be able to absorb the costs and businesses might fold up as they would no longer be competitive. The cost of the standard of living would go up," he said.
However, he added, if there is any time to lift the fuel subsidy that time would be now and waiting any longer would make the economic situation worse.
"Oil prices are low right now, so if they have to do it, the time is now," he said.
Ali said the San Juan Business Association is waiting to see how Government deals with the land and building tax.
"Anything that costs more will deter people from paying taxes," he said.He criticised the Government for not involving the small and medium enterprises (SME) in the recently launched tripartite body.
"That body has government ministers, labour leaders but where is the SME sector? The SME sector is the backbone of our economy. They employ the mass of workers," he said.