By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.co,] – The APNU+AFC Government is accusing the principals of the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI) of frustrating efforts of a planned reduction in the toll fee although a compromise was reached on the issue weeks ago.
Finance Minister, Winston Jordan at a post Cabinet press briefing on Friday, August 28 told reporters that the government is concerned that with the delay tactic being employed by the company, the agreement for reduced tolls as of September 1 may not be met.
He said that representatives of the government have facilitated several meetings with BBCI Vice Chairman, Ravi Ramcharitar for dialogue on the issue and at the last meeting, Ramcharitar indicated that the Board would like to discuss the issue with its shareholders before it is set in stone.
“It has taken the company over two weeks and several phone calls before an inconclusive response was finally received. Apparently, the Directors decided to place the matter before their shareholders. With September 1 fast approaching the government is concerned that these delaying and dilatory maneuvers appeared designed to frustrate the reduction in tolls and hold the travelling public hostage,” said Jordan.
The 2015 Budget provides a $36M subvention for the company which would facilitate the reduction; however Jordan stated that the BBCI would need between $120 to $140M in subsidy on an annual basis.
With a basic reduction of just $300, Jordan made it clear that this is the beginning of a phased reduction in the tolls.