Local May 31, 2012 | 11:19 am

Prominent economist slams electricity market’s corruption

Santo Domingo.- Prominent economist Jose Luis de Ramon on Wednesday said the corruption in Dominican Republic’s electricity market includes the areas of generation, transmission and distribution.

He said since poor individuals as well as high income companies steal much of the energy supplied without fear of penalties or consequences, the sector is bankrupt, with all agents depending on government subsidy to stay afloat.

De Ramón said while the energy grid is very inefficient, investments lag behind and stoked by the Government’s political approach based on winning elections, not development.

He called the electricity sector’s US$4.0 billion fuel subsidy over the past seven years “regretful.”

The economist said the power sector’s maze can only be exited by operating as a regulated market and not as a “caricature,” adding that as a regulator the Government should allow new generation operators, by eliminating current barriers to their entry.

"The State should, as soon as possible, sell its assets in generation and distribution sectors,” de Ramon said in his book "Challenges of the Dominican Republic."

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