ACTIVIST Devant Maharaj yesterday accused the Prime Minister of turning a blind eye to key concerns during the PM’s televised address to the nation on Sunday night. This included the possible effect of closure of the Petrotrin refinery on the price at the pump of gasoline.
Maharaj alleged Dr Keith Rowley had used up a lot of words and time just to rehash what was already in the public domain but without dealing with issues raised by the unions.
“The economic turmoil in Venezuela was ignored by the Prime Minister. The details of the Dragon Gas deal remain obscure as it was before the address.”
Maharaj reiterated his view that the Petrotrin issue should be debated in Parliament, a suggestion he said was brushed aside by Rowley, without any regard or respect for the population to have a say.
He said the Lashley Report on Petrotrin needs to be understood by the population, as the Government’s basis for restructuring Petrotrin.
“Did the Lashley report recommended the closure of the refinery if not who made such a recommendation?”
Maharaj said the PM did not address the servicing of Petrotrin’s debt.
“The plan of the Prime Minister of selling of Trinidad crude oil to foreign countries and the importation of the final value-added product of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel returns Trinidad and Tobago to the plantation economy.”
Maharaj claimed alternatives to the closure of the refinery remain unexplored by Rowley. He added, “The calls by sectors of the national community to review and revisit of the restructuring was labelled as mischievous instead of valuing it as constructive dissent.”
“The Rowley Administration has failed to address the critical issue of the possible impact of the refinery closure on fuel prices at the pump, and consequential inflationary pressures.
Maharaj said this administration is defined by mass unemployment and closures of businesses, but not revenue-generation activities.