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Government says it's committed to competition in energy sector

Published:Wednesday | August 15, 2012 | 6:44 PM

The Office of the Prime Minister has dismissed concerns that there is a conflict or dispute within the government regarding the approach to the energy sector.

Questions were raised after Dr Carlton Davis, the head of the liquefied natural gas steering committee, told a Gleaner Editors’ Forum on Tuesday that his personal view is that a properly regulated monopoly is the best option for Jamaica.

Dr Davis also said the breaking of the JPS monopoly on the transmission and distribution of electricity was not a position of the government.

READ: Monopoly is best

After the statement by Dr Davis, the Opposition spokesman on energy, Gregory Mair called for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to immediately clarify her government’s position on the monopoly held by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).

Mair said the statements made by Dr Davis sent mixed messages about who is in charge of the country’s energy policy.

A release sent to the media today by the OPM said "the point of view of an Advisor does not necessarily reflect a settled position of the Government."

The release also said that Minister of Mining and Energy Phillip Paulwell would be making a statement about on-going discussions with the Jamaica Public Service.

"The fact is that the Government of Jamaica is committed to competition within the energy sector and indeed all sectors in which competition serves the national interest. The interest of the media in the subject reflects the concerns of the country in general about the cost of electricity and its effects on both private consumption and the cost of production in the industrial sector," the release said.