Clarke warns NPC may be next to go

Member of Parliament for St George North Gline Clarke Friday warned that the sale of the National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) may still be on the cards.

And in making his contribution to the debate on the NPC Amendment Bill in the Lower House Friday afternoon, Clarke suggested that the Freundel Stuart administration was merely fattening up yet another cash cow for market by way of a proposed rate increase.

The Opposition legislator emphasized that based on recent history, the ruling DLP may be seeking to quickly increase the profitability of the NPC to make it more appealing for would-be buyers.

His comments came on the heels of recommendations from the Stuart-appointed Fiscal Deficit Committee of the Social Partnership that the state-run Barbados National Oil Company Limited (BNOCL, as well as the National Petroleum Corporation (NPC), the statutory body responsible for managing the distribution of the country’s natural gas supply, be sold, with the green light already given by Government for the divestment of the BNOCL subsidiary, the Barbados National Terminal Company Limited to the Sir Kyffin Simpson-led Sol Group.

However, that US$100 million deal is currently tied up in the courts. It also is the subject of a Fair Trading Commission investigation, amid shouts of unfair competition coming from Sol’s lone competitor Rubis West Indies Limited.

Based on these developments, Clarke said: “We have to ask ourselves, what next is this Government looking to privatize?

“One wonders what is Government’s long-term goal in this exercise. Is the Government prepared to the sell the National Petroleum Corporation (NCP) and is therefore putting it in a commercial exercise that it would attract would-be buyers?” he queried, adding: “I want to find out if this is happening.”

Interjecting on a point of order, Stuart vehemently denied the implication, dismissing it as “mischief”.

“I piloted this Bill this morning and I gave the reason why this Bill is before the House and in the reasons I gave, none had anything to do with privatization and readying the NPC for sale.

“This is an indecent piece of mischief on the part of the honourable member to imply any such thing,” a ruffled Stuart said.

However, Clarke responded saying it was an attempt by the Prime Minister to pull the wool over the eyes of the public.

“We have seen spinners and in fact, we just saw spinners here at Kensington [Oval] and we know a googly when we see one,” the Opposition MP said in using a cricket analogy to dismiss Stuart’s retort.

“We know the one that flips and the one that flip backs and you can’t see it all. And the Prime Minister is aware of these things. We know the spinners and the spin they put on balls. I am asking the Government the question, ‘if they have plans to sell the NPC?’ If they don’t, they should come right out and say they have no plans,” Clarke contended.

4 Responses to Clarke warns NPC may be next to go

  1. Greengiant May 7, 2017 at 7:11 am

    The honorable member for St. George north taught me business some decades ago while I was a student at the B’dos O’ level Institute and a very good teacher he was too.

    He taught me the value in state privatization and what it could do for a nation when the masses acquire shares in the entities on sale. Now, rather than being opposed to privatization your contribution and that of the opposition should be the drafting of legislation to compulsory place shares in the hands of locals who are owed taxes by the state, the credit unions, the workers unions, and community organizations such as sports clubs. Though this would not generate the needed foreign exchange, like Trinidad and Tobago it will create wealth for the masses and local organizations who today rely on the private sector for sponsored revenue.

    This is the reason why I continue to question the intention or ability of the opposition to take this country into the future with success. We can’t simply oppose without presenting value added proposals. The country has to work for locals, and locals for the country. It’s got to be a partnership or it fails continuously. What did the said honorable member contribute as minister of housing?It’s time for the individual electorate to examine the past contribution of current politicians to the country, look around for land marks, and our social networks to see where, when or what have they contributed either individually or as a minister. They should be dismissed if nothing is found. The days for seat warming is over. We don’t need opposing, we need solutions now, so on behalf of our people I call on you all to bring solutions. I know this word is now politically engaged on the minds of barbadians, so you can use ” suggestions, proposals, recommendations ” I’m sure your spin doctors can bowl six different balls per over to win the admiration of the spectators. I know how the BLP and DLP bowls, I have batted in your practice sessions under your best coaches for years, having never won considerable trophies with you, I am now playing on a new team with winning solutions. ” Welcome to Solutions Barbados for 2018 and beyond, Barbados deserves better “.

    Reply
  2. hcalndre May 7, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Greengiant, First your party of Solutions have to do, not promise, that should you become the next government, have your ministers be held responsible for the spending of the taxpayers money, any corruption that is being suspected must be dealt ASAP, assets must be declared, vehicles can only be used to do the peoples` business, no kickbacks or gifts to the politicians for favors granted, all contributions must be reported to whoever and there is a limit that the donors can give, that`s a few of the recommendations, jail and heavy fines when found guilty.

    Reply
  3. Greengiant May 8, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Pleasant morning to you @ hcalndre; All that you’re asking for must be made law. Laws can only be placed from the floor of parliament, so it would mean Solutions Barbados can only contribute to those changes when elected by the people.

    What saddens me though @hcalndre; is that the others have shared the spoils of this land between them for decades without even introducing this type of legislation even for debate. Yet some of us are championing the cause of the same political parties. So while you are perfectly correct in calling on us for positive changes, I do recommend that you call on the current government to bring that legislation before the next election so as not disadvantages parties like Solutions Barbados. You and all barbadians should realize that we will be operating at a disadvantages financially when compared with the sister and brother team of BLP and DLP as they’re guaranteed the financial support of their parents.

    Reply
  4. Eglon Sealy May 9, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Is it good enough to soliloquizè in today world when are waiting to hear solutions .
    Let us cut out the grand standing and get into serious discussion on the future of Barbados.

    Reply

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