Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon says the country is getting higher quality fuel from Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd (Paria Fuel) than it was receiving from Petrotrin before its closure.
Speaking to reporters after the launch of the fuel verification programme, at NP’s Munroe Road, Chaguanas, service station on Wednesday, Gopee-Scoon said the population had received superior fuel since Petrotrin’s closure and had not been “short-changed.”
Paria Fuel is one of four companies created to take over Petrotrin's operations after its closure and is responsible for trading, marketing and bunkering fuel.
“There is no question of short-changing. The quality of fuel that is coming in is superior to what was being provided before. The evidence is there, in the transition that there is absolutely no difficulties, it has been a smooth transition in the provision of quality fuels to the population.”
Asked about the remark by TT Bureau of Standards (TTBS) chairman Lawford Dupres that a certificate of assurance would be sought from Paria Fuel for the quality of the imported fuels, she said that formed part of the TTBS’s mandate to ensure consumers received value for their money.
“The TTBS is to ensure what is being retailed to the population is in fact quality, and the metrology is to ensure that the quantities that are delivered to the consumer from the pumps are what is expected.”
Earlier in her address, Gopee-Scoon said the fuel verification programme was responsible for establishing trust in the population. She said the exercise was expected to be completed by June, as 27 NP service stations had been verified since January 1.
“This would conclude the nationwide fuel verification exercise and ultimately bring an improvement in the quality of fuel provided by stations operating in the country. The national community is advised that in order to ensure that the desired quantity of fuel is dispensed and consumers receive value each time they visit the pumps continuous monitoring would be essential. This verification exercise will, therefore, continue on a six-month rotation cycle over the next few years.”
She said the next verification exercise would target scales at supermarkets and markets to ensure consumers are receiving accurate measurements and better value for money. “We look forward to the verification of market scales, which I understand will be initiated in the latter half of 2019.”
She said the exercise, which is being overseen by the TT Bureau of Standards, is a “microcosm of work being undertaken to establish the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI).”
She said the NQI is an element of the National Quality Policy (NQP) which was approved by Cabinet in April, 2018.
“As a developing country seeking to make our mark in the international economic environment the establishment of this quality culture will ultimately support the diversification and growth of the economy, improve productivity, increase safety and security, protect the environment, and contribute to the long-term well-being of all citizens.”