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Wednesday 21 November 2018
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Carolyn challenges Khan to public debate on Petrotrin

COP leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan addresses some of the workers who will be affected by the closure of the Petrotrin refinery, at Clarke Road in Penal yesterday.
COP leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan addresses some of the workers who will be affected by the closure of the Petrotrin refinery, at Clarke Road in Penal yesterday.

CONGRESS of the People (COP) leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan is challenging Energy Minister Franklin Khan to a public debate on government’s decision to close the refinery of state-owned Petrotrin.

Seepersad-Bachan who served as Energy Minister between 2010 and 2011 is also calling for the details of the McKinsey report on Petrotrin to be made public.

She made the call while speaking to Petrotrin workers in Penal on Sunday morning.

She said there are far too many unanswered questions about government’s decision to close the refinery and fire 1,700 employees.

“I am asking who did this analysis, I am not clear or convinced that all the factors have been taken into consideration, we need the opportunity to debate this decision publicly.

“So today I call for the release of the McKinsey report – let the country see the details of this report – I want to understand why this report is shrouded in secrecy.”

Between June 2017 and June 2018, Petrotrin paid some $23 million to top international business analysts McKinsey and Co for “company strategic review and transition.”

“I note Franklin Khan saying they need Cabinet approval (to release the report), I disagree. This is a report paid for by the company, and you the taxpayers own Petrotrin. You are the ultimate shareholder and you deserve to know the details in this report.”

She said Petrotrin’s restructuring must not be about fixing a balance sheet while ignoring the economic implications.

“Let there be a public debate, you want to be open and transparent? I challenge Mr Khan today, let us debate this report in the public domain, Minister Khan come forward, do not hide.”

Seepersad-Bachan also asked what will be done with the real estate attached to the refinery.

“Can you say to us what is going to happen to all the assets in Pointe-a-Pierre, what about the real estate? What about the residences, the camps? Both on the eastern and western side on that Pointe-a-Pierre Road. You have a substantial amount of waterfront property will that real estate be sold off and to whom?” she asked.

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