Letters

Letters To The Editor 14/03/2018

Electricity deposit Premila Kumar, Consumer Council of Fiji CEO, Suva We refer to Narayan Reddy’s letter titled “Electricity Deposit” published in the Fiji Sun on March 6, 2018. The council
14 Mar 2018 11:00
Letters To The Editor 14/03/2018
Letters To The Editor

Electricity deposit

Premila Kumar, Consumer Council of Fiji CEO, Suva

We refer to Narayan Reddy’s letter titled “Electricity Deposit” published in the Fiji Sun on March 6, 2018.

The council would like to highlight that Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) obtains Security Deposits (SD) in the form of bank guarantees and cash deposits from all its customers, which is estimated based on two months of electricity consumption.

According to FEA’s 2016 Annual Report, the total security deposit stood at $41 million and in 2015, the amount was $40 million.

FEA keeps security deposits in their operating bank account which is a non-interest bearing account.

According to FEA, this is being done because they refund security deposits to customers on a daily basis.

Consumers pay refundable deposits to service providers who are holding millions of dollars of underutilised funds which is “dead money”.

Fiji is losing out in terms of the investment potential of such funds.

The council’s research in 2014 showed that five major service providers keep security deposits in the company’s operating account except for one service provider that kept the security deposits in a bank account that was earning interest.

This service provider did not give the interest earned to its customers. The council believes that security deposits should be invested or utilised in a manner that would bring gains to consumers.

In the past national budget submissions, the council recommended the setting up of an independent Bonds/Securities Commission to manage security deposits and later include rental bonds (once the legislation for this is in place).

These funds can generate an interest which the government can utilise for the public good, such as the provision of infrastructure or hospital improvements.

Consumers can also receive a portion of the interest when they end their service contracts or close their accounts.

 

SODELPA office bearers

Samu Silatolu, Nakasi

There seems to be political unrest within the SODELPA camp. The Tui Cakau is the president, Anare Jale and Dona Takalaiyale are vice presidents while Sitiveni Rabuka is the party leader.

Have we missed out anyone? Majority of these top office bearers are renowned within Fiji’s political and government arena. They are academically and practically well qualified with proven performances to establish themselves within the party’s top political circle.

But a few, we cannot comprehend how they infiltrated the party.

Have they been appropriately screened? Just a matter of transparency so SODELPA supporters can understand who they are dealing with.

 

Why can’t they?

Wise Muavono, Lautoka

If the Mayor of London can cycle and catch the public transport to work; I don’t see why our council chief executives can’t do the same?

 

Civil servants

Amenatave Yaconisau, Delainavesi

I agree with the sentiments expressed by Nemani Delaibatiki in his article on ‘My Say’ (Fiji Sun, 12/3) about separation of powers. Certainly, the independence of the three arms of government is mandatory regardless of who comes to power; civil servants should play their role.

They are the ‘party’s servants’ if you like but sometimes they have trespassed into ‘political areas’ because of their expertise and experience. But there is a clear distinction between bureaucracy and political executives.

That’s what needs to be observed in the reforms. Otherwise, it becomes ‘medieval kings’ with their clones.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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