Public Utilities to Stay in Belizean Hands Print E-mail
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Written by Shane B. Williams   
Thursday, 21 July 2011 00:00

BEL and BTLBelizeans at home and abroad applauded the acquisition of the Belize Electricity Limited. Citizens came out in great numbers to the National Assembly to show their support for the renation-alization of BTL. There was great celebration when the Prime Minister emerged from the National Assembly building after the bill was passed to renationalize BTL; however, that joy was shadowed by great concern. The people’s united party has expressed no regret for placing national essential utility companies in the hands of foreigners and Belizeans are worried that (if by some miracle they are re-elected as government) they will return the companies to foreign interests upon taking office.

The United Democratic Party has always been ideologically opposed to the sale of public utility companies to foreigners. In Belize’s brief history of public utilities privatization we have seen companies bled to fatten another owned by the majority shareholder; foreigners earning millions while local investors receive no returns and a massive revenue generating company sucked to the brink of collapse. Now that the nation has seen the effects of the PUP’s privatization policy the people are relying on this government to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. That was a concern that Prime Minister Barrow addressed shortly after passing the reacquisition act.

The House of Representatives will meet on Friday, July 22nd, to take the first step in enshrining into the constitution that Belize’s national utility companies must be majority owned by the people and government of Belize. Since it is a constitutional change there will have to be a consultation period of no less than 90 days before it is read in the House for a second time. However, by these words of the Prime Minister, Belizeans can be rest assured that the time of foreign reign is over.

“This is our house, this is our country. Here we are masters here we are sovereign and with the full weight of that sovereignty we must now put an end to this disrespect to this chance-taking to this new age slavery”
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 July 2011 12:30