PHILIPSBURG:—– Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Leona Marlin-Romeo said on Thursday that, “A much needed relief for the people of Sint Maarten was given in the form of a public announcement that was issued on Friday, February 19th from the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (Ministry TEATT), indicating that there will be an adjustment to cooking gas.
“This adjustment was expected to immediately commence on Monday February 22nd 2016. However, according to the Daily Herald’s publication on Tuesday February 23rd 2016, a day after the official date of implementation, businesses were still selling cooking gas at the old prices.
“This has my full attention as the people of Sint Maarten would have finally seen a drastic cut in cooking gas, and would be able to keep in their pockets, ANG 20.27 for a 20lb bottle and ANG 40.04 for a 100lb bottle. What is happening to the controls? Who is ensuring that the new prices are being implemented by all businesses? Why do households have to continue with the burden of old prices?
“This is a needed relief for the consumers and households in general. These are questions this Member of Parliament wants to pose to the Minister responsible as soon as the Minister decides to find time in her schedule to address Parliament.
“Additionally, it has been stated in Wednesday’s publication of the Daily Herald that the overall Consumer Price Index and inflation have decreased on average compared to the year 2014. With the public knowledge dropping world market price of oil this behavior is expected and as a consequence just recent LIAT has agreed to remove their fuel clause making tickets less expensive.
“Even utility companies in the region are doing the same. This Member of Parliament will like to know what is the Minister of TEATT doing with regards to GEBE and their build up rates; can the same be done so that the people can feel less burdened with the cost of electricity?
“The Minister of TEATT has not found time in her schedule to address consumer protection concerns. The Minister holds a critical function and needs to give an account to the people of Sint Maarten on matters that affect them. Cooking gas has not received any decrease for the entire year of 2015 as far as this Member of Parliament can recall.
“The people of Curacao pays Ang 40.00 for a 100 lb bottle and Ang 8.00 for a 20 lb bottle of cooking gas. On Bonaire the cost of LPG is even cheaper with the cost being ANG 27.31 for a 100 lbs bottle and Ang 7.31 for a 20 lb bottle. In Sint Maarten, the published price for a 100 lb bottle is Ang 112.96, while businesses are charging the old price of ANG 153.00, the published price for a 20 lb bottle is ANG 21.73, but businesses are selling it for ANG 42.00.
“The much awaited answer to the cries of when will the people of Sint Maarten feel a relief after the constant decrease of international oil prices, is still awaiting. I have campaigned on the premise to look out for the needs and betterment of the people, and so doing will continue to monitor developments and request that urgent audience of the minister, hoping that the Minister will honour both the December 1st 2015 request and the new request that will be sent,” Independent MP Leona Marlin-Romeo concludes.
Source: St. Martin News Network MP Marlin-Romeo comments on Cooking Gas Issue.