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Money Back For Rural Electrification Recipients

Money Back For Rural Electrification Recipients
Minister for Local Government Parveen Kumar Bala
July 16
18:11 2017

 

Households and communities who have paid their ten per cent contribution to qualify for the rural electrification programme have had their contributions refunded.

Minister for Local Government, Housing and Infrastructure, Parveen Bala has reaffirmed that all contributions sent into the Trust Fund of the Government as from last year by the applicants will now be refunded.

Waibuku residents in Ba were one of the many ecstatic beneficiaries when they were given their 10 per cent refund.

The Government has allocated $42.6 million for rural electrification in the 2017-2018 national Budget.

Those listed for 2017-2018 will have elctricity installed in their homes at no cost.

Rural Electrification projects are carried out by the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) and the Department of Energy which comes under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

In the Budget $31,085,536 had been allocated for the Grid Extension Programme while $11,543,717 is allocated for the Installation of New Solar Home Systems.

The 150 schemes for the Grid Extension Projects total $29,085,536 and house wiring is $2million.

The schemes will benefit 3,396 households of which 614 are in the Central Division, 1,276 in the Western division and 1,506 in the Northern Division.

The house wiring budgetary allocation is for the installation of proper wiring in homes that will connect households to the FEA grid system.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had reiterated this in the Parliament in his right of reply to the Leader of the Opposition who had asked for an increase in the Budget for the Rural Electrification project.

Ro Teimumu Kepa had also reminded the Government of the pending promise made by a former Minister to the villagers of Wainibuka in getting electricity by Christmas 2015.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum reminded Ms Kepa that the villages she was talking about were already included in the budget under the project.

In explaining why an increase in the allocation could not be made for the project, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Government was held back by the limited number of  qualified linesmen and women who could carry out this connections to these places.

The Fiji Electricity Authority over the years has only been working with 20 private sector companies that are certified to carry out these connection works and fast track the work.

“Please also remember people no longer have to make that ten percent contribution this is all being done now free,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Under the New Solar Home Systems with an allocation of $10,400,000 for 2,600 households have been listed under this initiative. There will be 680 households in the West, 855 in the North and 1065 in the East.

$1.1mil is allocated to maintain and purchase spare parts for previously installed solar home systems.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  arishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

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