Carberry says govt needs pro-active energy policy

Stabroek News
May 29, 2004

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Government needs to develop a pro-active energy policy to manage energy resources and explore alternative sources, PNCR Executive Lance Carberry said on Thursday.

"The adverse energy problem, exposed by high fuel prices, must be managed and the government is responsible for doing so," said Carberry, who criticised government for its inadequate response to the recent hike in fuel prices at the party's weekly press briefing.

Petrol stations met on Tuesday to consider closing to protest the government's recent policies, including the 10-point reduction on the consumption tax.

Carberry bemoaned the fact that little has been done to properly manage the energy sector, especially since the mechanism for dealing with the problem in the medium and long-term is the Guyana Energy Agency, formerly the Guyana National Energy Authority.

But he charged that government seems to be averse to a pro-active management approach and rather resorts to reactive short-term, band-aid remedies.

"Why does the government retain the GEA? Is it only a marker of fuel and the recorder of the C.I.F. price of imported petroleum to enable the Ministry of Finance to grab its unconscionable 50% consumption tax?" Carberry asked.

PNCR Executive Winston Murray also looked at the fuel situation and he posited that the government may be able to reduce the C-tax even further to bring relief to consumers and petrol dealers.