Rate increases/decreases for GPL can only be granted by the PUC

Dear Editor,  

I refer to Mr Ram’s most recent letter captioned ‘GPL has to be accountable, transparent and efficient’ (Stabroek News June 15).  As much as I do not wish to continue this debate with Mr Ram, I am constrained to make the following observations in the interest of clarity.

I hasten to acknowledge that I have enjoyed a professional relationship with Mr Ram going back as far back as 1974 when I was a partner in the only international firm of Chartered Accountants in Guyana and we continued that relationship during the period while we were both working overseas.

In our response to Mr Ram’s earlier letter of June 10 (Stabroek News), we sought to clarify certain aspects of the rate calculation in accordance with the 1999 Electricity Sector Reform Act (ESRA) and the Licence, and in doing so to correct Mr Ram’s conclusion that deferred tax was included in the rate calculation.

Mr Ram, in his most recent letter, is now harking back to the deferred tax, and conveniently seeking to move the goalposts by referring to a failure “to address the inconsistency of a write-off of deferred tax on losses simultaneous with a proposal for a tariff increase.”

If Mr Ram is now questioning the propriety of the deferred tax charge in the audited financial statements then we may wish to suggest that the media is not the appropriate place to do so. Let me say, however, as professionals, we stand ready to defend, in the appropriate forum, any challenge that Mr Ram may wish to bring with regards to the propriety of our work.

Referring to the issue of applying the rate of 26.7% over a shortened  period, viz, May 1 to December 31, Mr Ram makes the  point  that were the increase to be implemented at the end of September the rates will go up by 68%. We believe this point to be a non sequitur as rate increases/decreases are computed and applied pursuant to the Licence which provides for an increase/decrease effective May 1. In any event, it should be noted that rate increases/decreases can only be granted by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in the exercise of its regulatory powers and duties.  Finally, this brings to an end our contribution on this issue.

Yours faithfully,
Nizam Ali
Nizam Ali & Company
Chartered Accountants 

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