A United National Congress (UNC) statement yesterday (Tuesday) accused the Government of “a deliberate strategy of confusion” over Paria’s fate.
It charged: “While answering questions in the Senate today, Energy Minister Franklin Khan bizarrely stated that Paria Fuel was not up for sale while also saying the company will be ‘leveraged’ in negotiations with prospective buyers for the oil refinery.
“The Government cannot, on the one hand, commit to not selling Paria Fuel, while also saying it intends to use it as a ‘deal sweetener’ for a sale of the refinery.”
Alleging Khan was confused, the UNC suggested Trinidad Petroleum Holdings chairman Wilfred Espinet should clarify things as he knew more about the Government’s energy policy than Khan.
“The Rowley Government first denied they had any intention to close Petrotrin, only to do exactly that in 2018. Then they denied Petrotrin was to be put up for sale, only to do that as well. Now the Government is denying they intend to sell Paria Fuel Trading Company while also saying the company will also be ‘leveraged’ all in the same sentence!”
The UNC suggested the Government was using a psychological ploy called gaslighting to make people question their own sanity on energy issues.
It said contrary to what the PM and his ministers may believe, "The people of TT are not fools, we are all keenly aware of the flip flopping, lack of accountability and transparency, on this entire Petrotrin/ Paria debacle.”
The Opposition accused Khan of “warning” the Opposition against doing its duty of holding the executive to account, but pledged to be undeterred.