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FTC upgrade

Changes to be made to Laws governing commission

A complete upgrade is coming for legislation governing the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) and the Office of Public Counsel.

Acting Prime Minister Richard Sealy said it followed recommendations Cabinet had received from a committee chaired by Professor Andrew Burgess.

He made the announcement today in the House of Assembly while introducing the Electric Light and Power (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

Sealy identified the Fair Trading Commission Act, the Fair Competition Act Utilities Regulation Act and the Telecommunications Act would be among the pieces of legislation which would be upgraded.

Acting Prime Minister Richard Sealy

Acting Prime Minister Richard Sealy

“We hope to do that so that the consumers’ interests are protected. The consumers’ interest will remain paramount. We are not going to [go] backwards we have come too far. We cannot stand in the way of the corporate sector, but at the same time we must ensure that the FTC has the technical and legislative resources to protect consumers, not only in the telecommunications sector but in the energy sector,” he said.

Sealy, who holds the portfolio of the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, told Parliament that the amendments to the Act seek to democratize the energy sector and move it away from one major supplier.

The original Electric Light and Power Act provided for nine categories of licences for the generation of electricity for domestic and commercial use.

However, he said “it was discovered that there was a need for a tenth category”.

“Initially, it was decided that domestic supply would be up to 25 kilowatts and for commercial purposes 100 kilowatts and above. The greatest interest actually came in that 25 to 100 kilowatt capacity. We have been getting more interest from people who want to provide systems for their own industrial purposes, so if the interest is greatest in this area we needed to have ten categories,” Sealy said.

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