FNM hits out at PLP over BTC
The Free National Movement(FNM)yesterday hit out at the Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)in the ongoing debate over which administration had a better deal to privatize the Bahamas Telecommunications Company(BTC).
“Despite promising hope and help, the PLP set the country back during their term in office from 2002 to 2007. In significant ways they proved as devastating as the worldwide economic downturn which hit The Bahamas beginning in 2008,”the FNM claimed in a statement.
“Instead of protecting our national interests, the PLP wrecked one public corporation, BEC(the Bahamas Electricity Corporation), and connived to nearly destroy another, BTC.”
The FNM charged that within a few short years, the Christie government took a profitable electricity company and ran it into the ground.
“BEC is now borrowing to pay its fuel bills because of their recklessness, poor management and disastrous decisions,”the statement said.
“With BTC, the PLP was about to embark on a course of action which would have given the country, the Bahamian blues by selling the telecommunications company to a dubious entity with unknown beneficiaries.”
The FNM insisted that the Bluewater deal the former administration was pushing would not have been in the country’s best interest.
More than$120 million of BTC’s funds would have gone to the special hidden interests involved in Bluewater, the FNM charged.
“Under the FNM those funds will go to the Public Treasury for the benefit of the Bahamian people,”the statement added.
“Not only was Bluewater going to be exempt from paying$7 million in stamp taxes, it was also not going to be properly regulated because the PLP did not put the legislation and regulatory framework in place to oversee a liberalized telecommunications sector. One can only imagine whose interests this would have served.
“The same PLP which treated various state corporations like ZNS and Bahamasair with contempt, including continuing to owe them money, also nearly destroyed within a single disastrous term, state corporations that have served the Bahamian people for decades.
“Thankfully, the FNM is turning not only lemons into lemonade. The Ingraham administration is also changing the tune set by the PLP from the blues into rejoicing that The Bahamas is back on track. The country is becoming a whole new world from telecommunications to tourism to a modernizing government to social advancement and dramatically improved transportation networks.”