Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on the Finance Minister to say whether the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been invited to T&T for its annual Article IV review.
Addressing supporters at the UNC's Monday Night Forum at the Chaguanas South Secondary School in Chaguanas, Persad-Bissessar questioned whether Finance Minister Colm Imbert was afraid of what an IMF review will reveal.
Referring to the recent downgrade of this country's credit rating by international credit rating agency Standard and Poor's, Persad-Bissessar said, "S&P downgraded T&T from BBB+ to BBB and before that Moody's downgraded us."
"I want to ask a question: Where is the IMF Article IV enquiry? We are in the month of July and by now, the IMF would be here conducting their Article IV review and then they would present their reports on the status of our country."
She said Imbert must say whether he has extended an invitation to the IMF as they have been coming to T&T for annual reviews for "donkey years."
Persad-Bissessar said the review was critical for T&T to chart its way forward as she said so far, there have too many public relations "spins" on this country's bad ratings.
"The Article IV review is going to help us as we plan forward what needs to be done," she added.
In early April, in its World Economic Outlook the IMF projected zero per cent growth for T&T in 2019.
According to the Outlook, T&T's growth for 2018 was only 0.03 per cent.
In recent statements made via twitter, the Finance Minister said Moody's had published an in-depth statement on Monday that this country's credit profile "will benefit from improved growth prospects from higher energy production, moderate fiscal deficits and large financial buffers and the government has been effective in restructuring Petrotrin."
In an earlier post, he stated: "A person in the ICU has to stabilise first before he can recover.
The same applies to our Economy after the collapse of oil prices in 2014. We have to walk before we can run. Our financial "gurus" would do well to remember that and also admit that T&T is still investment grade!"
Reporter: Shaliza Hassanali