Electricity woes will continue despite tariff and pay rise for PPL management

PNG Power CEO, John Tangit
PPL CEO, John Tangit
Electricity consumers can expect more outages and service disruption despite a 5.9% tariff increase and the management of PNG Power Ltd (PPL) awarding themselves a massive 40% raise last October.

The increased tariff, which took effect on January 1, has drawn criticism from the public. However, in a public statement, PPL CEO John Tangit said that consumers should not expect any major improvement in their services, adding that the upgrades would take time to implement.

He said the increased tariff is the company’s strategy to raise internal revenue to fund projects to improve performance of the existing assets. He also put some blame on fuel prices saying:

“Or if fuel costs came down significantly, say 2008 levels, PPL would not need to increase tariffs by this much.”

However, despite the high operating costs the company is facing, PPL management managed to give themselves a pat on the back with a 40% pay hike in October 2013, reported the Midweek Chronicle.

The rise was kept under wraps but Wantok Nius understands that it almost led to mass strike by employees during the festive season.

TUC leader, John Paska
TUC leader, John Paska
Meanwhile, PNG Trade Union Congress (TUC) is calling on the company to explain where the funds for the rise came from.

According to the union, the company’s continuous power outages and the affirmation that their infrastructure is obsolete requiring several billions to recapitalize indicates they do not have the money.

TUC leader, John Paska said:

“We want to know if the consumers are going to carry the burden of this increase on top of the 5.9% increase in rates.”

Mr Paska said the move was insensitive and a slap in the face of minimum wage earners. He said this might only pushed the energy workers’ union to file for similar conditions which may turn out to be unsustainable.

The unprecedented pay rise came shortly after lavish trips to Israel, Singapore, the United Kingdom (UK) and Iceland by the entire board and management, which Prime Minister Peter O’Neil described as very expensive and unnecessary.


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