WITH world oil prices seemingly on an upward climb, Independent Senator Dr Dhanaysar Mahabir said government needs to exercise financial discipline if the country is to benefit from the energy windfall.
“We will not be able to advance economically unless we exercise discipline and discipline will only be achieved when we adhere to targets,” he said.
Is there a target for the Heritage Fund? Could we commit to our heritage fund getting ten percent of revenue? That is something we should aim for, he said.
“We have had many opportunities in the past, we are getting an opportunity now, I wait to see what government is going to do between 2018 and 2019, with this increase in the price of oil. Let us hope we have learnt some lesson on how not to mismanage an oil windfall,” he said.
Government’s aim, Mahabir added, should be to achieve US$15 billion in the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund while maintaining a projected budget of TT$50 billion for the next few years.
“Let us commit to balancing the budget,” he said during debate on the Finance (Supplementation and Variation of Appropriation) (Financial Year 2018) Bill, 2018 in the Senate yesterday.