As the 2020 budget debates continue, Junior Minister of Public Works Deodat Indar has revealed that the previous administration had not paid the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) some $13.1B for electricity.
“Upon looking at the books of GPL, I have found that there is $13.1B that the government of the past five years owes GPL. It seems as that there was a national policy unwritten somewhere that you should not pay your light bill,” Minister Indar declared, noting that the sum represents a significant 4% of the entire 2020 budget.
As he continued to lament on the state of affairs of GPL, the minister explained that the issues with the power company is that the previous administration had not invested enough.
“The issue with GPL and the blackouts is that the previous government has invested only US1M in five years to put baseload capacity into GPL. That is why you are finding everyday there are blackouts everywhere because there is zero revolving capacity at GPL…”
He referred to the US$50M the government had lent GPL to buy five generating sets, which he said are currently stranded in Finland; as well as the some $994M for civil works, of which only 15% are completed. According to Minister Indar, Guyana nor its people will benefit from any of these investments until April 2021 or thereafter.
He explained that, upon assumption to office, his Ministry sprung into action to address the issues facing GPL, noting that over 30 firms have responded to Expressions of Interest to supply the national grid with power.