Tuesday, June 20, 2017

PM to address nation tonight on economy, way forward


Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley's address to the nation at 8 o'clock tonight will focus on a number of issues, including the present state of the economy and the way forward for the country. 
Rowley disclosed this yesterday when he spoke to the Express in Tobago at the official opening of the $74.6 million new meteorological facility at Crown Point, which was started under the Ministry of Tobago Development.
On the issue of the just-concluded negotiations between the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) and Petrotrin, Rowley said he expected all parties to be reasonable, especially in these tough economic times. “While it is not a perfect situation I think some reason did enter the circumstance, and I will address the nation (tonight). I will be talking to the taxpayers of their country and our national circumstance, because at the end of the day there are a lot of issues to be addressed by all of us,” he said.
Rowley said, however, there is a bottom line which involves consultations, patience and having a plan to be executed with common sense. “The bottom line is that we are not going to get anywhere by one set of people staying in one corner shouting at the other. We have to make a decision that can get us from where we are, to where we want to be,” he said, adding: “Well anybody could gear up, the bottom line is Trinidad and Tobago has a body of citizens most of whom have understood that we have constraints, and there are some people who may want to operate outside of those constraints.”
The Prime Minister's address tonight also follows a two-day Government retreat held at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's, last week attended by members of Government from Ministers to State board appointees and permanent secretaries.
Rowley also said that legal documentation on constitutional reform for Tobago is on its way to Cabinet. He said the Tobago proposals have already been presented to Cabinet. “Some discussions will take place with Tobago from the AG's office and then we go to the Parliament, and then the rest of the parliamentarians will get involved at that stage,” he added. He said hopefully at the end of the year something will be concluded. “It will be in Parliament during the second quarter, we expect that the bill will be in the Parliament in whatever state it is in, and then a parliamentary committee will be working on it.”