Government must consider a reduction of the gas subsidy on all types of fuels and not only premium gasoline, says political analyst Derek Ramsamooj.
"This is indeed necessary if we are to be a productive and competitive country that can compete on the global market as well as can be a deterrent with respect to the quantum of environmental pollution that our country suffers," Ramsamooj told the Express by phone yesterday.
In the budget presentation on Monday, Finance Minister Larry Howai announced that premium gasoline will be increased from $4 to $5.75 per litre.
Ramsamooj said the People's Partnership national budget, if implemented in an efficient manner, can begin a path of economic transformation.
Ramsamooj said this country needs a Government that will transform the State from being a developmental institution to one that is more of a facilitator and regulator.
"Any statutory body that is draining the resources of the country and that is counterproductive to the creation of wealth for the country should be seriously considered for closure," said Ramsamooj.
The Government, he said, must recognise the State can no longer fund certain projects and partnerships with private sector must be forged.
"The 2012/2013 budget has clearly indicated to the public the economic thinking of the People's Partnership Government. The pathway to the privatisation of certain public good that are being delivered though statutory bodies must indeed now be contemplated," said Ramsamooj.
"One would clearly anticipate that the process of publicly offering shares such as those belonging to First Citizens Bank and other financial institutions mark the beginning of a privatization process," said Ramsamooj.
He said if the Government wishes to represent a political culture of transformation, consideration must be given as well to privatisation of public utility services such as T&TEC, WASA, TSTT and Caribbean Airlines.
"The full privatisation of these services would indeed reduce the financial burdens of these institutions on the State coffers," said Ramsamooj.
Ramsamooj commended Government's move towards the partnering with private enterprises for development of the CEPEP and URP programmes.
"The Minister of Finance must be congratulated for setting guidelines as to his desire to reduce the budget deficit and to bring about a balanced budget," he said.