Does Colm Imbert know what he is saying when he keeps changing the figures and casting blame on the financial losses at State-owned Petrotrin?
Below, we published a media release from the Ministry of Finance issued on Wednesday.
It is clear that Colm Imbert continues to make a mockery of his position as Minister of Finance. His latest outburst that Petrotrin has made losses of $4.2bn which was somehow hidden by the last Govt displays both his lack of appropriate experience and qualification for this pivotal and crucial portfolio as well as his indiscretion in pointing fingers at an internationally reputable accounting firm, from whose glare and scrutiny these losses were supposedly concealed.
The truth of the matter, as the Minister would I am sure have been informed, is that Petrotrin would have brought forward unused capital allowances, accumulated as a result of refinery upgrades as well as the failed WGTL project which cost taxpayers$3.3bn and a further $3.2 bn in relation to a separate project involving an ultra low sulphur diesel (USD) plant constructed by South Korean firm Samsung Engineering and Construction Limited.
It is noteworthy that both these projects were entered into under the Malcolm Jones led board in 2009.
Provided the Auditors are given sufficient evidence and assurances that the company will make sufficient profits in the future, these allowances remain on the Company’s books as a deferred asset.
A deferred tax asset is an accounting term that refers to a situation where a business has overpaid taxes or taxes paid in advance on its balance sheet. These taxes are eventually returned to the business in the form of tax relief, and the over-payment is, therefore, an asset for the company.
It is clear that as a result of no such assurances been given to the Auditors, they may have had little choice but to write off the asset as being “unrelievable” against future profits.
This is what has given rise to the alleged loss of $4.2bn on Petrotrin’s books.
It has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the management of Petrotrin under the PP Govt and EVERYTHING to do with the incompetence and mismanagement of the present regime.
It represents, at the highest levels of Govt, a sinister and malicious attempt to mask the lack of leadership, direction and vision of this truly inept bunch.