And moving on to the bigger matters in the house, Prime Minister Barrow brought into force a convention to which the GOB has already signed unto and has been operating under provisions; this is the Caribbean Development Bank Sixth Power Project to grant Belize Electricity Limited a loan of over 11 Million US dollars to assist and expand its sub-transmission and distribution systems across the country.
This motion was met by the Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca, with much fervour since residents down South have not been entitled to power in that area. It was a fiery exchange between both leaders, here is how that went.
Honourable Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition
“In Toledo for example in the villages of Sunday wood nothing has happened because not one single village has been electrified in the last six years in Toledo, it is disgraceful; Sunday wood, Mahbil Ha, Dolores, Otto Sha, Corazon, San Lucas, Santa Teresa, Cricket Zarco, Conejo Creek, San Vicente, Jalacte, Santa Elena, Santa Cruz, Medina Bank, Golden Stream, Indian Creek and my colleagues can tell me if I have left out any these communities, all of these communities we have visited many times and the people need our help that is why people feel so frustrated that when they see all the money government spending in particular parts of the country, in particular constituencies they are angry and frustrated, we need greater equity in the use of resources of government.”
DEAN BARROW – Prime Minister
“Our next certainly at rural electrification which is horribly expensive but which is necessary is not anything I will quarrel with. I should take the opportunity to congratulate BEL while this is a loan that will assist in making the company more effective, the fact is, BEL has been doing wonderfully if you look at the last annual statement you will see how well it has done, they made another debenture issue and before the period for subscription could even reach half way it had already been taken up by the public, people are rushing to buy debentures to invest in BEL precisely because under the ownership of the government of Belize this company has been doing so exceptionally well, let me take the opportunity to congratulate the Chairman and the Board of Directors and all the members of staff of BEL for this wonderfully accomplish year that BEL has under its belt, I heard the leader of the opposition clearly there is an need first to get to rural electrification as soon as time and resources will allow.”
According to the PM, the approval of the loan will contribute to the social and economic development of Belize by improving the capacity of BEL to supply reliable electricity to the public. Other matters in which Cabinet has approved and brought to the house was the Development Finance Corporation Line of Credit from the Social Security Board. Barrow says the SSB has offered to lend DFC a sum of 20 million dollars to enable DFC to lend to various sectors of Belizean economy namely productive, micro, small and medium enterprises.
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