Government got it wrong with how it went about removing the fuel subsidy in the last budget, ANSA McAL chairman A Norman Sabga said yesterday.
“The Government has been talking about fuel subsidies at a cost to the country. I believe last year they got it wrong and put a significant increase on the most expensive fuel. I think they had an increase, one incremental increase across the board — everyone was expecting that — maybe that would have been more acceptable. The price of fuel has to go up, but incrementally,” Sabga told reporters during a media conference at the company’s head office at Maraval Road, Port of Spain yesterday.
Sabga said he was confident the Government will do what it is supposed to do and implement what it says it will when the national budget is read on September 9.
“We do not expect any new taxes; I think that is important for continued growth. I am not expecting any tremendous surprises,” he said.
The company, he said, was wholeheartedly behind the passage of the Beverage Container bill in Parliament as soon as possible.
“Our group is fully in support of it and would like to see it. We (at ANSA subsidiary Carib) have been recycling bottles for the last 50 years and get back about 80 per cent of all the glass we sell, which is quite significant. One just has to look around at Carnival and see the litter. Our bottles aren’t there but others that don’t have a (return incentive) are what litters the street. The bill should be passed; I hope they take it to Parliament and get it done,” he said.
The company also announced its half year financial statements for the six-month period up to June 30 yesterday.
Top line revenues grew by seven per cent to $2.9 billion, up from $2.7 billion in 2012. Profit before tax grew by nine per cent to $405 million (from $371 million in 2012).