Last week, Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceno exposed the Barrow Administration’s intentions of selling off the utility companies to raise much-needed revenue in the upcoming fiscal year. The allegation saw no response by way of UDP press release, and yesterday confirmation came of such intentions straight from the horse’s mouth, as they would say. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, while his economic advisor Mark Espat was set out on a path to “talk” to possible investors, the contemplation of such a move has been scrapped.
Rt. Honourable Dean Barrow Prime Minister of Belize
“Efforts have been made to talk not just to the small man but to institutional investors; the banks, the insurance companies, but while it is something that is been contemplated it is not going to be proceeded with I think we are going to limit ourselves merely to the sale of the additional shareholding to SSB nobody can have any quarrel with that but if we went beyond that and it turned out that we could not limit further sales to the small man when you sell to SSB in effect you selling to the small man, if it turned out we could not limit ourselves to the small man there would no way of stopping the institutional investors with whom we’ve been talking for purchasing it is my sense that the public and certainly those in my party with whom I’ve discussed the idea would not like that they would want to see those shares apart from what have already gone to the small man historically the rest of those shares kept exclusively for government and the SSB and that’s where we are at the current time.”
And while there won’t be foreign investors taking over BTL shares, the Government continues to lean heavily on the sacred worker’s funds at Social Security.