In T&T: Roget Says Budget Has No Word on Energy Sector Crisis

12 October 2011

OWTU leader hits out at Monday’s National Budget 2011/12…says no attention was paid to the “turmoil” in the energy sector

The 2012 budget is nothing more than a “handful of deception” on the part of the Minister of Finance Winston Dookeran, says president general of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), Ancil Roget.

Speaking at yesterday’s post-budget forum organised by the OWTU, Roget criticised Government for not making a statement in Parliament on Monday on the current industrial climate and the “crisis” existing in the energy sector.

Roget said, “All that happened is that the protective services were given handsome increases intended to bolster the rising crime in the country.”

Roget said Government was “very silent” about the demoralised Police Service.”What about the outstanding negotiations with the police?” he asked.

He said Dookeran hoped to get revenues from the energy sector on the assumption that all is well. “But that is senseless, especially as this sector is in turmoil.”

Roget referred to the current industrial climate existing at Petrotrin, calling it a “crisis in the industrial sector”.

The company and union are negotiating new terms and conditions of work for some 5,000 Petrotrin workers who have walked off the job twice in the last week, causing the shutdown of several processing plants at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

Roget said, “There will be no economic growth for the next 12 months while workers are under attack.”

Another speaker at the forum, economist Hayden Blades, said the budget lacked vision.

“What we need is a vision and the budget had no visions for the future. I expected to hear about a new type of politics, about constitution reform, transparency and local government reform.”

Blades said the “bit by bit” discussion on local government reform “is rubbish. What is needed is greater empowerment of communities.”

Economist Gregory McGuire said the Finance Minister provoked more questions than answers.

“He (Dookeran) did not explain how he intends to transform the economy, and all discussions along those lines have failed so far.”

McGuire said the country needs to increase its earning capacity and this problem was not addressed in the budget.


One Response to “In T&T: Roget Says Budget Has No Word on Energy Sector Crisis”

  1. Vinod says:

    Very informative..thanks!!