By Kevin Ramnarine
The Government is deliberately making the energy and banking sectors into the economic bogey men of T&T. That is dangerous since investors have options. T&T isn’t the only girl on the dance floor. This is not 1977.
To say that the country produces 3.0 billion cubic feet per day and “not one cent” comes to the country is wrong. It assumes firstly that Trinidad and Tobago only exist in the year 2017. It did not exist before and will not exist in the future. T&T is a going concern. A time will come in the future when energy revenue will rebound. In years gone by the country received its share of royalties and taxes as per law.
The facts also rebuke the “not one cent” Imbertian theory. The records of the Central Bank as published in the last Economic Bulletin show that the country collected TT$ 6.0 billion in revenue from energy companies for the first 10 months of fiscal 2017. While this is much lower that what was collected in previous years, it is still not the zero that we heard about from Minister Imbert and Junior Minister Young. Why then did they come with this “not one cent” story?
Was it to deliberately paint Banking and Energy in a bad light and set the stage for increased taxation and application of Royalties? T&T is walking down a dangerous and slippery road when its banking and energy sectors being made into fall guys.