Tariff increase for electricity on hold

Public Enterprises and State Investment Minister, Ben Micah
Public Enterprise and State Investment Minister, Ben Micah
Consumers will not be paying for the 5.9% increased tariff this quarter following directives from the Public Enterprises and State Investment Minister, Ben Micah, reports The National.

This news was made public by PNG Power Ltd (PPL) CEO, John Tangit, yesterday. He said in a letter dated January 11, Minister Micah directed the company not to implement tariffs that were approved by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC).

Instead, the government, as a shareholder, would inject a promised K10 million capital into the company for maintenance and upgrades, which according to Tangit is more than the expected revenue from the new tariff. He said:
“This is more than the expected revenue from ICCC approved tariff increase.”
Mr Tangit also said this is the first time for the government to inject money into the company and apologised to consumers what he claims as “misrepresentation of information” in the media regarding the issue.

PPL came under heavy criticism from consumers and business houses for the increase in tariff. Meanwhile, the business community is calling for the government to allow other competitors in the electricity industry which PPL and its predecessor PNG Electricity Commission (ELCOM) have monopolised for over 50 years.

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