Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will chair a newly-appointed standing committee on energy which will include as members former Petrotrin executive chairman Malcolm Jones and energy expert and former UTT chairman, Prof. Ken Julien.
This was disclosed by Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie during yesterday's post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.
Cuffie also said he would continue to be the only minister addressing the news conference and it would be mainly on the decisions and discussions in the Cabinet meeting.
He was responding to questions about the new format of the event, which differed significantly for the one used by the former PP government where minsters appeared to answer questions about their respective portfolios.
Cuffie was asked about public criticisms from the UNC about Jones' and Julien's respective tenures.
Cuffie said the Government was not unduly concerned about those criticisms as both men were not charged with any offence.
He said the legal matter against Julien "exploded in the High Court and was dismissed with an apology from the (then) attorney general."
He said the legal matters against Jones "are (also) heading in that direction but in any case they have not been charged with anything and they are upright citizens and free to serve in that capacity."
He said Jones and Julien "have tremendous years experience in energy matters and I think the country recognises their worth."
Other members of the committee are Finance Minister Colm Imbert, Energy Minister Nicole Olivierre, Public Utilities Minister Ancil Antoine, Rural Development and Local Government Minister Franklin Khan, Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General Stuart Young, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Orville London, Petrotrin chairman Andrew Jupiter, NGC chairman Gerry Brooks, T&TEC chairman Keith Sirju and industrial engineer Steve Gardner.
Cuffie also said the permanent secretaries in the Finance and Energy Ministries and two technical advisers from the Energy Ministry would also be members.
He said that committee's objectives were to ensure there was maximum benefit to this country from investments in the energy sector.
Cuffie also announced the establishment of a standing committee on physical infrastructure, also to be chaired by Rowley and include as members, the Finance, Works, Planning, Rural Development, Agriculture and Housing Ministers. The Chief Secretary of the THA is also a member of the committee.
That committee, he said, would look at the establishment of the mass transit system, construction of highways, construction of a fast ferry port in Toco and the construction of a modern fishing port in Moruga and other matters.
Other Cabinet decision taken yesterday
Approval of $5 million to assist Dominica following last month's damage caused by tropical storm Erika. Cuffie said the money is to be used "to supply construction material to Dominica.