Guyana’s finance minister Ashni Singh has defended in congress the government’s plan to sell its last remaining 20% stake in fixed line incumbent GT&T, in the face of a motion to suspend the sale, writed BNamericas citing the Guyanese government’s website. ‘Our administration is prepared and eager to enhance and foster the appropriate climate for competition and growth in the telecommunications sector’, Singh said.
The opposition motion had called for the government to suspend the sale of its shares in GT&T, which is controlled by US telecommunications holding company Atlantic Tele-Network (ATN), on the grounds that the incumbent was originally privatised on the condition that the government retain a 20% stake, and that government appoint at least one member of the board to ensure that the interests of the Guyanese people are represented. Regarding the stipulation, Singh stated that the government control of a 20% stake should not impede the process of liberalising the telecoms sector. ‘It is not the 20% ownership in GT&T that is prohibiting other operators; it is in fact the monopoly that was granted.’