By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Prime Minister Samuel Hinds has defended the allocation to the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and by extension the $4.3B allotted to the Office of the Prime Minister.
Hinds said the $3.8M set aside for capital investment in GPL is neither a handout nor money being thrown down a black hole.
Speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday, April 08, PM Hinds told the House that the large investment in the power company over the years is in a bid to keep electricity charges to customers suppressed at about 30 percent.
“So while government allocations to GPL have totaled over $40B during this period (1970’s -2014) the net total suppression of tariffs, the net foregone revenue of GPL has totaled about $27B.”
He said even as the administration continues to invest in the utility company, it questions whether the management and workers are doing well with the resources made available to them.
“We keep pressing for better performance and we look to benchmark.”
The PM explained that even when tariffs are suppressed, the utility company still needs money and when those monies are not forthcoming, the service is negatively impacted and the system sooner or later begins to run down.
He told the House that the allocation to GPL in the 2014 budget will see the completion of transmission upgrade programme, completion of ongoing loss reduction programme, installation of additional generators at Leguan and Wakenaam among other initiatives to improve electricity generation and delivery.
In the general context of electricity and energy, Prime Minister Hinds told the House that government’s programme is to steadily improve and extend.
He reminded of allocations to subsidize electricity in Linden and Kwakwani, the distribution of PV systems across the hinterland among other interventions to bring relief to residents both serviced by GPL and others.