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Wednesday 22 January 2020
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AG: Opposition praises Govt for 'guts' to close Petrotrin

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during debate on the Finance Bill 2019 in Parliament on Friday. - ROGER JACOB
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during debate on the Finance Bill 2019 in Parliament on Friday. - ROGER JACOB

ATTORNEY General Faris Al-Rawi has claimed Opposition members have praised the Government for showing "guts" in closing Petrotrin.

"They tell us in corridors is a good thing we deal with Petrotrin. (They said) we didn’t have the guts to deal with that. Pointe-a-Pierre (MP David Lee) repeatedly said that."

He said that the Opposition on the outside put up a "charade of scorn" about the Petrotrin closure.

"Not everybody in this country stupid."

He said the Prime Minister had taken a tough decision and there were consequences.

"Who better than me (would know that) as MP of an area close by."

He was contributing to debate on The Finance Bill in the House on Friday.

Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh said Government claimed it took courage to shut down Petrotrin but about 10,000 people lost jobs and they showed displeasure in recent voting (in Monday's local government election) that took place around those areas.

"They have no moral authority to talk anything about Petrotrin."

He stressed that $40 billion had been lost in the "fiasco" with former Petrotrin chairman Malcolm Jones and $10 billion in interest had been paid on loans of US $750 million and US $850 million. He said there were also the investments made into Petrotrin such as the failed World GTL plant and the ultra low sulphur diesel project.

"The country is suffering today from the mismanagement of the PNM and Government (on Petrotrin)."

He added: “They should be ashamed of their performance in the energy sector from 2008-2010 and 2015-2019. Without (former prime minister) Kamla Persad-Bissessar we would have been in a worse position now."

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