Lower House passes bill to acquire Venezuela’s stake in Petrojam

by February 20th, 2019

The Lower House has given the green light for the compulsory acquisition of the shares in Petrojam held by Venezuela.

The bill to compulsorily acquire the shares was passed in the House of Representatives yesterday (February 19) after a lengthy debate.

Venezuela has a 49 percent stake in the state run oil refinery.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness in closing the debate said the government is not stomping on the relationship which exists between Jamaica and Venezuela.

Prime Minister Holness said no decision has been made on the divestment sale or closing down of the oil refinery.

He noted that the action by the government is to preserve the asset while ensuring the energy needs are safeguarded.

The bill will now head to the Senate where it will be debated.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke says the country faced a threat that must be responded to.

He was speaking in the debate on the bill to compulsorily acquire the shares in Petrojam held by Venezuela.

The bill was passed in the Lower House last evening (February 19).

Dr. Clarke says certain activities have been hindered because of the sanctions and the inability to effect payment and the threat to obtaining oil poses a threat to the country.

The Finance Minister states that the joint venture between Jamaica and Venezuela has left Jamaica with the empty bag.

Meantime Opposition Spokesman Peter Bunting says the issue in the debate surrounds the fairness of the behaviour of the government in the whole affair.