The Guyana Power and Light Company has been allocated an additional $4 Billion in the Government’s supplementary budget to address some cash flow issues that are facing the company.
It was explained that GPL is currently owed hundreds of millions of dollars by a number of Government and state agencies. He said the money owed to GPL dates back to before the current PPP administration took office.
In addition to that, the company is also facing the higher costs for fuel.
Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh explained that the additional money is needed.
“Amongst the entities that owe GPL were in turn a number of other agencies that were in similar states of financial distress. GWI, the Guyana Water Incorporated had owed GPL in excess of $9 Billion and was incapable of discharging that liability. The Guyana Forestry Commission is another example of an entity that accumulated tremendous indebtedness and did not have the liquidity to discharge that indebtedness and so Sir, we have been faced with the task of addressing this chronic problem and we have set about doing so diligently”, Dr. Singh said.
On the issue of the rising fuel costs locally and internationally, the Finance Minister said despite those costs increasing, the Government’s support for GPL has resulted in the costs not being passed on to consumers.
“The challenges at GPL have been further compounded by the fact that the fuel price on the global market has increased tremendously, moving from US$40 per barrel when we assumed office to now about US$100 and we have as a matter of policy given a commitment that we will absorb this fuel price increase and not pass it on to the consumer…and this of course has itself imposed a grave cash flow pressure on GPL”.
The Power Company has been undertaking a number of expansion initiatives while it continues its efforts to improve the supply of electricity in the country.