[www.inewsguyana.com] – With just hours before a planned reduction in tolls for the Berbice River Bridge to take effect, the stalemate between the Guyana Government and the Berbice Bridget Company Incorporated (BBCI) continues with no immediate sign of a resolution.
The Company on Saturday, August 29 stated that it runs the risk of having to file for insolvency if it is not able to meet its profit margins and pay dividends to shareholders. Notably, BBCI claims that the subsidy being offered by the government does not cover increase in tolls.
However, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said that with the current fare structure, the Company is not set to incur any losses as a result of the told reduction since it will be subsidized by the government.
“Contrary to the company’s statement there is no toll reduction to the company. The company will continue to receive the full amount of the approved toll; only now a part will be met by the government,” said the Minister in a statement on Monday, August 31.
Further to that, Jordan revealed that under the current investment model, the principals of the company want to impose a 55% increase in tolls at the Berbice Bridge.
He made it clear that this will not be tolerated by the APNU+AFC government.
“There now appears to be other forces who want to use the movement as a compensatory mechanism for a faulty investment model of the Berbice Bridge, one that seeks to impose a further 55% increase in tolls on an already suffering population. Such an unreasonable charge will not be countenanced by our government,” Jordan indicated.
The Finance Minister further noted, “It is now approaching there weeks since I met with officials of the company, the public is being inconvenienced and I hope that the company moves swiftly to demonstrate their commitment to achieving the objection f reducing the burden on the people of Guyana caused by prohibitively high tolls.”