There will be no increase of fuel prices, says Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
Imbert was speaking at the 2017 mid-year budget review in Parliament on Wednesday in Port of Spain.
He said that contrary to the rumours being spread that there was going to be an increase, this is not the case.
“With respect to fuel prices we made it clear that in light manner to our Caribbean neighbours we intend over a three year period between 2015 and 2018 to remove the subsidy on gasoline and diesel so that the price of fuel will rise and fall in accordance with changes in the world oil prices and the ex-refinery price in petroleum products.
This requires the proper design and application of an appropriate pricing formula which is being worked on at this time.
There will thus be no increases in fuel prices in this mid-year review,” he said.
Imbert also said that there will be no “drastic and sudden” depreciation of the currency.
With respect to the exchange rate, he said Government will work in closely with the Central Bank to ensure, “there is an orderly and stable exchange rate regime based on foreign exchange inflow and the demand for foreign exchange with a suitable focus on the fast facilitation of exports. There will be no drastic and sudden depreciation of the currency. ”
He said that the Government is encouraging local companies to become net earners of foreign exchange and/or to reduce our import bill.
“We have requested the Central Bank to give priority to manufacturing and trade whenever it intervenes in the disbursement of foreign exchange to the commercial banks. This measure took effect just one week ago,” said Imbert.