Imbert: No adjustment to fuel prices
FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert has said Government has taken no decision to make any adjustments to domestic fuel prices while international oil prices continue to fluctuate.
He made this comment during a virtual news conference on Monday to deal with the concluding statement of the International Monetary Fund's(IMF) 2023 Articlve IV mission to Trinidad and Tobago, released on March 16.
While the IMF gave good marks for Government's management of the economy to date, Imbert said the IMF's assessments are not necessarily a hint of what will come in the Mid-Year Review of the 2022/2023 budget between the end of April and early May.
Observing the volatility of international oil prices, Imbert said, "One has to look at them over a suitable period of time. You could be at US$100 (per barrel) today and next week, you could be at US$75 (per barrel)."
West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil were trading at U$72.82 and US$78 per barrel respectively on Monday.
Imbert said, "We are monitoring the price of oil to see how it affects the fuel subsidy and we will make an appropriate decision at an appropriate time."
The current fuel prices are $7.75, $6.97 and $4,41 per litre for premium gasoline, super gasoline and diesel respectively.
In its concluding statement, the IMF welcomed Government's decision to "partially liberalize fuel prices as it will improve the efficiency and the sustainability of the public accounts." The IMF also said it was important for Government "to continue providing targeted and temporary support to alleviate the rising living costs among the most vulnerable."
Imbert said the assessments made by the IMF are not necessarily a hint as to what will come in the Mid-Year Review.
"It is not everything. The Mid-Year Review will be far more focused."
Imbert will report on income and expenditure, economic trends, TT's fiscal outlook and other matters such as the establishment of the TT Revenue Authority. He advised the population to wait for the review to get information on these and other matters.
On ensuring there is an efficient public procurement system, Imbert said, " The Prime Minister has given a commitment to proclaim the (public procurement) legislation." He added this would happen soon.
Imbert said 17 of the 20 points raised by the IMF about Government's management of the economy were "overwhelmingly positive." The other three points were comments and advice from the IMF.
He said it was important for him to provide full details about the IMF's Article IV concluding statement because there has been misinformation in the public domain about it since it was released on March 16.
"Imbert: No adjustment to fuel prices"