Gonzales rejects Padarath's T&TEC corruption claims

Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales. File photo/David Reid
Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales. File photo/David Reid

PUBLIC Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales on Sunday rejected claims made by Princes Town MP Barry Padarath about alleged corruption at the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC).

Padarath made the claims during a news conference at the Opposition Leader's office in Port of Spain earlier in the day.

In response, however, Gonzales said, "I can't be distracted by the diarrhoea and diatribe of the MP for Princes Town. I have more serious matters to deal with in my service to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago."

Padarath claimed there was "a politically-charged incestuous relationship" taking place between T&TEC and the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC).

He alleged that he received information of known PNM members getting jobs at T&TEC and "stacking the pack."

Padarath also asked whether the relatives of any senior officials at the RIC had recently got permanent jobs at the commission.

He said all of this was in preparation for a possible increase in electricity rates from June 1.

Padarah reiterated his claims that the RIC was not being transparent in its public consultations on the proposed rate increase.

He also asked what was happening with respect to the licensing of childrens' homes in TT.

Padarath said last year, former attorney general (now Rural Development and Local Government Minister) Faris Al-Rawi promised this new licensing and monitoring regime would be implemented on March 31.

He claimed that recently members of a parliamentary joint select committee were told not all children's homes would be able to satisfy the criteria to be part of that regime on that date.

"The question now remains, what will happen to those children that you do not have space for in alternative homes?"

Padarath was concerned that children "could be left in illegally-operated (children's) homes."

He wanted to know who would take responsibility for such a situation.


"Gonzales rejects Padarath’s T&TEC corruption claims"

More in this section