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Feb 13, 2002

CAPU angry over B.T.L.’s rapid rate reversal

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After Chief Justice Conteh yesterday issued an order restraining Public Utilities Minister Ralph Fonseca from taking any other action on B.T.L. rates until the court has heard B.T.L.’s judicial review, CAPU is not pleased. In a telephone interview with Senator Margaret Ventura, she said that even though the court decided to put a stay on the order, she did not expect that B.T.L. would have reverted back so swiftly to the rate increase, since they have been negotiating with the company in good faith. She said it has become a case of government’s differences with Carlisle Holdings/B.T.L., which is beyond CAPU’s reach. Ventura continued by saying the onus is now on government to ensure that the consumers needs are met regardless of their difference with B.T.L. CAPU is planning a meeting for tomorrow afternoon to discuss the issue. And in a press release received late this evening, B.T.L. has confirmed that they are calculating January bills according to the new rate structure that took effect on December first 2001. News 5 originally reported this information last night, but after a B.T.L. spokesperson erroneously informed us that the rates would only be charged on the February bill, we broadcasted a correction. Assuming there will be no further corrections from B.T.L., consumers can at least take some comfort in finally knowing how much it is costing them to use the phone.

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