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Dec 4, 2019

G.O.B. Armed and Ready for Push Back by LPG Importers

The Government introduced and passed the Supplies Control (Amendment) Bill which increases penalties that may be imposed on these three companies if they continue to sell LPG below the fixed price. In anticipation of some sort of retaliatory move, the Government has prepared a Statutory Instrument that would give the Supplies Control Unit the power to seize the stocks of any of the three companies if they break the law. The PM lashed out at the importers and those who opposed the amendment.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I know that those on the other side are not without intelligence, not without common sense, not without brains and so when they say the sort of things that they are saying now I have to conclude that they are just playing the fool in order to try to exploit what they see as a political opportunity. Madam Speaker if once you concede as you must that the current suppliers of butane to this country are a monopoly, the divide the monopoly in three different countries but it is one family that controls the sourcing of butane into this country, a Mexican family. I heard the honourable member for Lake I well, if that company and its agents can in fact take the place as low as they have done in this effort to drive the local retailers out of the market it means that we have been fleeced because we could have force them to retail at that sort of low price a long time ago. But he well knows and the entire country knows that when the Ministry seeks to set a ceiling and those suppliers who are also retailer and distributors don’t want to accept that ceiling they threatened that they will cut off this country, that no butane wil come into the country. You want to look out for poor people? How will you look out for them when they can’t cook, they can’t do anything because these people who are holding us up to ransom say we will simply stop importing butane.  I know properly explained to the Belizean public they are prepared to pay what is fair and to give up the fact they could pay much less for a period of about two or three more weeks but the results of that would be all local retailers would be driven out business and then the people who would have succeeded in doing that who source the butane would simply would have jacked the prices up ten foot. Who you think the Belizean people would have come to then? This bill is a kind of companion piece or an extension to an S.I. which is being pass which SI will give the Supplies Control people to seize the stock of those importers if they play the fool and not follow the law and keep threatening us about cutting us off.  If you think that they are going gently into that good night think again because we are preparing for war and we are making sure that we have a proper arsenal, we have a proper armory, proper set of weaponry so that we can grab the knife here, grab the sword here, pick up the gun here, take the bow and arrow.”


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