"JPS ACTION OUTRAGEOUS” - SAMUDA

Release Date: 
Friday, May 16, 2014 - 11:15

Opposition Spokesman on Energy, Karl Samuda, is today expressing outrage at the strategy being employed by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo.), to temporarily disrupt service to lawful paying customers who live in communities with alleged high levels of electricity theft.

Mr. Samuda says that while the Opposition and other law abiding Jamaicans sympathize with the utility provider, the strategy being employed by the JPS is ill-conceived, unconscionable and warrants public outcry.  The Opposition Spokesman says the Parliamentary Opposition strongly opposes the move as it punishes hardworking lawful paying persons, and has asked the Government members of the Board of JPS to state what their position is on this matter.

Mr. Samuda said: "The Opposition is not only outraged on behalf of lawful paying customers, but we are seriously disturbed at the threatened action from a governance perspective.  How can  an essential service provider which itself has obligations under its license as well as  its terms and conditions of service to customers, take these steps?.  It escapes me as to why the JPS would opt to act in this manner and expose itself to all kinds of legal liabilities and moral hazards."

"This move on the part of the JPS must be seen as a direct result of a failing energy policy.  We must be concerned that further draconian and ill-conceived moves like the one we are now seeing may be contemplated if the Government continues to fail to fix our country's energy woes.  It is clear to us that in depriving customers of a service for which they have paid, the JPS is running counter to the principle of universal provision of an essential service.  It is also at the very least, morally reprehensible to punish law abiding paying customers by disconnecting them from the grid."

Mr. Samuda indicated in closing, that the Opposition has determined that JPS’ action is in violation of the terms of its license, and is therefore breaking the law to remedy another instance of law-breaking.  “The Opposition has mandated its legal team to review the JPS' license and its terms and conditions of service, to fully determine the legal implications of this strategy being employed”, Samuda said.

 

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