Government owed the JPS $7-BILLION......pays up everything

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jps.jpgGovernment has cleared its $7 billion debt owed to the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) for streetlights.

This was disclosed by Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie. He made the disclosure at a disaster preparedness and mitigation town hall in Douglas Castle near the St Ann/Clarendon border on Thursday.

In explaining the sudden move to pay off the streetlight debt that accumulated over several years of delinquency by the government, McKenzie said the state was being hit by interest charges every time it missed a payment.

Consequently, a decision was made for $4.5 billion to be paid to the light and power company over a two-month period to reduce the debt significantly and, after discussions with the finance minister and approval from Cabinet,"we have now paid off the entire debt. So, come the end of the financial year,we will not owe the JPS one cent."

McKenzie said the arrears stood in the way of residents getting defective streets lights repaired and new ones installed. He said the JPS has now committed to repairing the country's 12,000 malfunctioning streetlights by the end of the 2018/2019 financial year.

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