Economy October 4, 2016 | 8:51 am

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Industries balk at Government’s push to sell stake in power plants

Santo Domingo.- The president of the Santo Domingo industresgrouped in AEIH on monday said the government’s push to sell US$1.0 billion inshares in the Punta Catalina coal-fired power plants even before the project concludesis "surprising" and an "adventure."

Antonio Taveras spoke in reference to a meeting with thebusiness sector just two months ago, when senior Government officials had statedhaving enough funds to advance construction of the power plant this year.

The business leader noted that in that same meeting theofficials said only US$500 million more was needed to finish the work and thesource of funding hed already been identified. "The officials responded inthat manner when some entrepreneurs made a firm proposal to acquire a 49% stakein Punta Catalina (south).

Taveras called theattempt to balance the 2017 budget by offering shares in Punta Catalina an "adventure,"since in his view there’s "no publicly known firm basis that could ensurethis operation."

"Despite this sales ad, we don’t believe it will beeasy for the government to find investors in a project whose real cost is thebest kept secret," Taveras said, noting that the Electricity Pact would bethe best scenario to discuss and analyze the sale of the power plant project.

He said even the participants in the Electricity Pactdon’t fully know about Punta Catalina’s costs, construction procedures, budgetmanagement or the project’s source of funds to finance it. "This occurseven though this information has been a constant demand by the private sector presentin the Economic and Social Council."

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