Commission submits utility recommendations

Monday, April 8, 2002

A cross-ministry utilities commission in Colombia has submitted a number of recommendations to regulate and unify the country's public services regulatory framework to President Andres Pastrana, government news agency Ancol reported.

The country's public services regulator Superservicios, the national planning department and the development, mines and energy, and communications ministries make up the commission, which worked on drafting the recommendations for six months.

The current subsidy scheme is not sustainable in the long term due to a decrease in the number of people and companies that contribute to subsidies and an increase in those that receive subsidies, planning director Juan Carlos Echeverry said.

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Subsidies should be focused towards the two lowest income levels and the rural segment in the medium and long-term, according to the commission, which also recommended that independent auditors be brought in to gauge public service providers' management.

The commission, which studied the waterworks, power, gas and telecommunications sectors, also highlighted the importance of making information on bills relating to rates issues or general sector interest available to the public.