UNC candidate for Oropouche East Dr Roodal Moonilal wants the sale of the Petrorin refinery to OWTU-owned Patriotric Energy to be halted
At a cottage meeting in Debe on Friday, he said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley ought not to be consummating any deals and selling out the people’s assets and property.”
He declared: “This is improper! This is unethical. It goes against the grain of transparency and good governance. At a time when the Parliament has been dissolved there is no opportunity for anyone to ask Prime Minister’s questions, urgent questions, file motions and generate debate in the public interest.
Selling a 100-year-old asset cannot be part of a political campaign, he added, as he called on the prime minister to “take his paws off the refinery and allow the incoming government of Kamla Persad Bissessar to properly evaluate the mess that they have placed the energy sector into and return the refinery to the people.”
Moonilal said successful state petroleum companies around the world are fully integrated and able to remain viable in a volatile pricing market.
“With cheap post-COVID crude, the country should have been enjoying a refinery operating at reduced throughput to supply fuels—gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel—to our local and regional markets thereby earning and not consuming foreign exchange as is currently the case.
“Inexplicably running down and then shutting the refinery since 2015 has jeopardised the integrity of the refinery plant and will result in a distressed sale and a giveaway,” he said
Moonilal said he has been the main target of attacks from the PNM because he has made the PNM his main target.
He filed a lawsuit earlier this month for defamation against Dr Rowley a daily newspaper and others over a story published on January 6 which reported on an exchange of messages between the Prime Minister and Kirk Waithe, the leader of the NOW party. Moonilal said he has taken note of another story published over alleged dealings at the Estate Management Business Development Company (EMBDC).