Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret'd) Mark Phillips today affirmed that the Government expended $1.7 billion more than was budgeted, "to keep the lights on in Linden."
He was responding to a series of questions posed by the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton, in the Committee of Supply of the National Assembly on Monday.
When Financial Paper Number 2, Contingency Fund advances for the period August 15, 2022 - November 29, 2022 was presented, it was cause for concern from members in the opposition benches.
Of major concern was the $1.7 billion distributed to the Linden Electricity Company from the Office of the Prime Minister for power generation.
This large sum was spent despite a gargantuan $3,529,119,000 was allocated for this purpose from budget 2022.
Defending the $1.7 billion, PM Phillips noted that the increased price for fuel on the world market necessitated the additional payment for continued electricity in the mining town of Linden.
"As a caring government, Mr Speaker, we have decided that notwithstanding the increased costs in fuel, the government will absorb that cost and not pass it on to the people of Guyana. Mr Speaker, that is the only reason why we requested a study to keep the lights on in Linden, Region Ten."
However he could not provide the amount of electricity produced for the expended $5.2 billion.