JSC to meet on Dec 13 to discuss fuel prices

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Red House. File photo/Jeff Mayers

Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee will hold a public inquiry into the impact of rising fuel prices on the transport sector, retail sector, energy sector and households.

The inquiry takes place at the Red House on December 13 from 2.30 pm.

The committee is chaired by Speaker of the House of Representatives Bridgid Annisette-George.

Other members include Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy, Opposition Senator Wade Mark and Independent Senator Dr Sharda Patasar.

During a virtual news conference on March 27, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said Government has taken no decision to make any adjustments to domestic fuel prices while international oil prices continue to fluctuate.

The conference was held to deal with the concluding statement of the International Monetary Fund’s(IMF) 2023 Article IV mission to Trinidad and Tobago, released on March 16.

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).”

At that time, 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.”

No adjustments were made to fuel prices either in the Mid-Year Review in May or in the subsequent 2023/2024 budget in September.