Electric supply holding us back

EDITOR, The Tribune.

The World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report, 2017, for the Latin American and Caribbean Division shows certain rankings.

According to this report, overall, in terms of doing business, in 2017 The Bahamas ranked 119 out of 190.

When one considers just the Latin American And Caribbean Division, it appears from the rankings on “getting Electricity” we rank no 30.

There are only 32 countries on the list of Latin American and Caribbean countries.

That is, we rank below everyone except St Kitts & Nevis, and Haiti.

Perhaps the BEC list of requirements for changing the name on a meter account back to the name of the Company, is a factor in our ranking.

In addition to the list of up to ten requirements, customers are also told the company has to produce proof of title to the property.

Excepting the first three requirements, requirements 4, 6, and 7 appear to be another cross - tax compliance exercise, as if BEC/BPL were a tax enforcement arm of the Government.

Requirement 7: Obtaining a Certificate of Good standing: another “rent taking” exercise: each certificate of Good Standing costs another $50.00 Registry Fee (assuming no professional fees are charged for obtaining this certificate or any other of the paper work).

The effort involved in complying with items 5,7, 8, 9, and 10, increases the cost of doing business, without any value added for the cost incurred.

Would BEC/ BPL be able to amend this list so it is reasonably incidental to its mandate to provide electrical service?

So that persons who could otherwise be pursing activities to generate the cash-flow their business and this country needs, are not overburdened chasing irrelevant papers?

In Mexico, where I lived between 1980-85, it had become too difficult (read: corruption opportunity exercise) to transfer a telephone number from one person to the other.

So people ceased making the effort, and the Telephone Directory of Mexico City, was known as “El Directorio de los Muertos” - the Directory of the Dead, because the persons who had those telephone numbers listed with their names, had long since died.

BPL/ BEC might want to reconsider its list of requirements, before its list of account holders, likewise becomes a Directory of the Dead.

LEANDRA ESFAKIS

Nassau,

February 12, 2018.