‘Worthy investment’Central Bank of Barbados Governor DeLisle Worrell. (FP)
Thu, June 07, 2012 - 12:00 AM
THE PRIVATE SECTOR is being urged to take the lead in the implementation of alternative sources of energy on the island and to take full advantage of the related incentive programmes available to them.
Suggesting that there was no shortage of funding available, Central Bank of Barbados Governor DeLisle Worrell said the sector had the potential to save the island millions in foreign exchange but implementing the necessary measures was too slow in coming.
“Growth is about these sectors; it is about tourism in terms of our foreign exchange at the present moment, our international business and financial services.
“Though relatively small . . . , agriculture and agro-processing, and the major sector where we can actually save foreign exchange is alternative energy,” he said.
“This is the area where we can economize on the foreign exchange that is available to us by [generating] our own power from alternative sources. Growth is possible and we can all make it happen.
“This is a private sector-led economy and the investments that are going to make it happen are going to be investments by the private sector,” said Worrell. Government is to facilitate and provide support “but it is the private sector that has to lead”.
His comments came during a recent presentation to the media on the topic How Do We Keep the Economy Stable?
Worrell said he was disappointed that the process of setting up solar generation and other forms of energy sources were “getting off to a slow start” despite millions of dollars which have been borrowed from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for that process.
“It is taking time to move things along but that is as much a responsibility, in fact, I would say it is more so a responsibility of the private sector than of the government. Government has done its part and gotten the foreign exchange for us to use. The private sector has got to see that those funds are available and wherever the opportunities are, get a share of that money . . . .” he said.
Currently, individuals are allowed a tax incentive of $10 000 while registered small businesses are allowed a tax incentive of $25 000.
“The tax incentive to me is large enough that it should solve the problem. My understanding is that you can get $10 000 a year, and a household system is not going to cost you more than $30 000. So if you have a financing arrangement where you pay a down payment and a monthly payment, you can get back all of that money,” Worrell explained.
While he could not pinpoint specific reasons for the slow pace, Worrell said it could be because people were not familiar with the sector. (MM)
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