Friday, June 10, 2011

PM Barrow gains 2 % on his UDP government report card - to 53%


PM Barrow announced in a television interview, that the government will take back BEL from Fortis of Canada. Plan A he said, was to come to some sort of agreement with Stanley, owner of FORTIS of CANADA to make an amicable solution. Otherwise PLAN B will be done. The government is spending $4 million a week to pay the bills of BEL and keep the electricity flowing through the National Grid.
PM Barrow explained that FORTIS want a rate hike outside of the regulations of the Public Utilities Commission ( PUC ), plus a BLANK CHEQUE.
The PUC says BEL is profitable at current rates. The public believe FORTIS is siphoning off excess cash, rather than re-invest.
PM Barrow explained that FORTIS has run BEL into bankruptcy and the shares are valueless. I believe there is only one share, a $1 share which was given to FORTIS by the PUP many years ago? PM Barrow explained that a government bailout in the financial condition of the government was not possible. We would have to borrow the money from some foreign bank, like the USA has done. We cannot do that unless we control the company, he said.
The deal will be done, by PLAN A, or PLAN B within 20 days, due to the emergency situation of the BEL finances.
I approve of this move and am awarding the Prime Minister and his UDP government 2 points on his report card for the decision.
The small populated countries of the Caribbean are continuously exploited by ROBBER BARON International Corporations, with assets and finances more than the small governments they are dealing with, expecially in the utilities field. They use imaginative bookkeeping, offshore shell companies, instead of re-investing, they lend themselves money from themselves to siphon of more profits in the name of loan interest, management fees and other extras. The bleeding has to stop sometime. The country has the technical expertise, so there really is not much problem.
It does look like BECOL the HYDRO DAM will also have to be taken over, as BECOL and BEL are siamese twins, joined at the hip and the financial arrangements between them cannot successfully be seperated.
Lacking is a forward looking plan and legislation to encourage NET METERING, to stimulate local home grown investments in the electrical production field. In order to make Belize self sufficient in electricity. Most of our electricity is bought from Mexico. I myself, have been looking at a 1 megawatt steam turbine driven electrical generator. There is however, no security, or legislation encouraging me to so invest.
In the past, the PUP government, used to give FORTIS a blank cheque as they did not want to understand, or be bothered with the utility business problems. PM Barrow´s decision is a breath of fresh air, where we will try to stand on our own feet and be self sufficient. GDP growth is only possible based on the availability of cheap energy in the form of electricity mostly.

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