JPS seeks zero rating of GCT on electricity to reduce costs to consumers, announces $45 million aid package

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JPS seeks zero rating of GCT on electricity to reduce costs to consumers, announces $45 million aid package

Saturday, March 28, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) said that it is lobbying the government for a zero rating of the General Consumption Tax (GCT) on electricity for both commercial and residential customers; removal of the special consumption tax on fuel used in production of electricity by JPS and independent power producers.

In addition, the JPS is also seeking assistance with securing stable and predictable access to foreign exchange used to procure fuel for power generation – in a bid to lower the cost of electricity.

The announcement was made today by the JPS President & CEO, EmanuelDaRosa, speaking at a digital town hall meeting dealing with the company's response to the COVID-19 situation in Jamaica.

At the same meeting, the JPS also announced a $45 million assistance package to aid in the fight against COVID-19 and to bring relief to members of the disabled community and the elderly.

“It is critical for us to pull together to fight the effects of the global pandemic – which is taking a toll on both the health and economic frontier. Therefore, the JPS Foundation in partnership with our shareholders, Korea East-West Power (EWP) is purchasing diagnostic equipment and testing kits, at a value of approximately $35 million.These have already been ordered and are due to arrive in the island by mid-April,” he said.

JPS said it has also committed to provide assistance to the disabled community as well as the elderly who live alone, who are most at risk at this time.

“This means, persons who have a JPS account, who are registered with the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities or who are senior citizens who live alone, will not be disconnected for April and May,” the company said.

The company also said that the most vulnerable elderly will be receiving care packages.

JPS said it will continue to do planned maintenance, as it is important to thenationthatpower supply is maintained in order to supply other essential services such as hospitals, water supplies and telecommunications services.

The company noted however that these repairs and work sessions will be shortened, to accommodate persons who are now work from home during the days.

“The work, however, is critical to avoiding future equipment failure and extensive inconvenience to customers,” the JPS said.

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