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Heated Debate On Electricity Bill 2017

A suggestion to get landowners involved in the changes brought by Electricity Bill 2017 sparked a heated debate yesterday. SODELPA Opposition MP, Aseri Radrodro, while speaking on the Bill, said
23 Mar 2017 11:00
Heated Debate On Electricity Bill 2017

A suggestion to get landowners involved in the changes brought by Electricity Bill 2017 sparked a heated debate yesterday.

SODELPA Opposition MP, Aseri Radrodro, while speaking on the Bill, said the landowners of Naitasiri that had shares in Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL), could buy shares with the Fiji Electricity Authority.

He said it was more beneficial for FHL shares instead of  Government deciding to sell out or buy entities using FHL shares without the consent of the provinces.

In response, the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said previous governments did not give the Naitasiri villagers electricity even though the power lines went over their villages. He said it was the Bainimarama Government that provided them the electricity.

On FHL shares, he said they didn’t just pick up shares and give them away.

He said when FHL was set up, they were desperate.

“When those people were enjoying Class A/Class B shares in particular Class A shares, were they desperate?” he asked.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Opposition said if FHL bought shares in FEA then the shareholders should be consulted.

He asked when Fijian Holdings Limited went on a joint venture with Vinod Patel, formed a joint venture with a New Zealand Company, bought shares in RB Patel, did they consult the shareholders?

“Of course not, that’s not how companies run, a company has a board and has a management and they make decisions,” he said.

The Bill was passed by Parliament.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum while speaking on the Bill, said it was a result of Government’s intention to corporatise the FEA.

The Bill, he said, would create a company for a corporate entity that would be registered under the Companies Act.

However, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said at the moment FEA was enjoying a position in the market for retail, transmission and distribution of electricity within Fiji.

He said the FEA also carried out regulatory function of approval licences and safety standards.

Mr Sayed–Khaiyum said there was a need for regulatory reform of electricity in Fiji.

 

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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