By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The 2015 Budget estimates presented to the National Assembly by Finance Minister Winston Jordan does not provide any subventions for the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Incorporated despite the company receiving billions in the past.
Under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic administration in 2014, the state-owned company was budgeted for a $3.85B budget subvention while in 2013, the power company was the subject of a $10.2B subvention.
However, only $5.2B of that amount was approved in the National Assembly by the majority opposition. Former Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds had disclosed that since 2003, the government has allocated more than $40 billion in subventions to GPL given that the consortium comprising the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) of the United Kingdom and the Electricity Supply Board International (ESBI) of Ireland pulled out of the 50/50 equity deal with the administration.
When contacted on Wednesday August 12, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson told iNews that for 2015, GPL will be able to sustain all of its operations using its own revenue.
According to Patterson, this is largely due in part to the decreasing costs of fuel on the international market which would mean lower production costs for the power company.
“It doesn’t require any subsidies, it is sound enough to fund itself,” said Minister Patterson.
Despite GPL being scratched off the list and the reasons cited by the Public Infrastructure Minister, other power companies in Guyana are scheduled for subventions.
Port Kaituma Power Light and the Matthews Ridge Power Company are both budgeted for $10M subventions each under the Office of the Prime Minister while under the Public Infrastructure Ministry it is $15M for the Port Kaituma Power and Light.
The Lethem Power Company is also listed for a $70M subvention under the Prime Minister’s Office while it is listed for a $35M subvention under the Public Infrastructure Ministry.
Also under the Infrastructure Ministry, the Kwakwani Utilities Inc is slated for a $99M subvention and the Hinterland Electrification Company Inc is listed for a $31M subvention.
Notably too, LinMine Electricity Company is also listed for a $1B subvention and the Moruca Power and Light is slated for a $10M subvention and Mahdia Power and Light for $15M.