15 May 2003

Solomons tries to protect income for troubled electricity company

5:24 pm on 15 May 2003

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sir Allen Kemakeza says a plan to direct the revenue from fuel taxes to the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority should ensure its financial survival.

The Authority has struggled for months to provide power because of the failure of other government agencies and departments to payy their power bills.

Two weeks ago it took the unprecedented step of disconnecting power to government departments to force payments to be made.

Sir Allen Kemakeza says to solve the cash flow problem the Government has decided to allocate the fuel revenue exclusively to the SIEA.

"the money that is generated through the fuels, two of the depots here, has to be put aside purposely for the government to pay the bills to the SIEA ..in turn the SIEA pays the two depots to supply the fuels ...so that measure has been put in place"