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PM intervenes after JPS insists it will continue power cut policy this week

Published:Tuesday | May 13, 2014 | 4:53 PM

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

Junior Energy Minister, Julian Robinson, says the Prime Minister has intervened in the controversy over the Jamaica Public Service Company's (JPS) new power-cutting policy after the entity rejected his request to immediately discontinue the measure.

Speaking in Parliament a short while ago, Robinson said the Prime Minister will meet with JPS officials tomorrow morning at her office in response to what he called a "national crisis".

According to Robinson, during his meeting with JPS this morning, he told company officials that the practice was unfair and unjust.

But Robinson said the JPS rejected the request for an immediate cessation of the policy, saying it would continue until the end of this week after which it would conduct a review.

The junior minister said that the government, which owns 20 per cent of JPS shares will explore all possible avenues to ensure that the practice is discontinued.

The JPS has embarked on a policy to reduce the hours that power is supplied to communities where more than 70 per cent of the people using electricity are not paying for it.

Meanwhile, the Opposition spokesman on energy, Karl Samuda, said the response of the JPS to Robinson reflects a paralysis of the political directorate.

Samuda also said the government should seek to ensure that the JPS charges the lowest possible price to persons in communities that are stealing electricity under the proposed community rate which would see people paying for power at a reduced rate.

Desmond McKenzie, MP for west Kingston said that the practice of the JPS has been going on for a long time, adding that the company has only formalised it by making the announcement.


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