2 Dec 2004

PNG State Enterprises minister confident about compromise Econet proposal

4:13 pm on 2 December 2004

Papua New Guinea's State Enterprises Minister, Puka Temu, says he thinks the Government has reached the best compromise over the proposed partial sale of Telikom to Zimbabwe company Econet.

After the proposed 51 percent sale of Telikom was blocked by a parliamentary vote last week, Econet has agreed to a smaller 48 percent stake sale, which would allow the government to retain control of the company.

Dr Temu says the concerns raised by the public, as well as the opposition and even members of the government, have been answered in the independent review of the sale process.

But while the report is yet to be made public, he says he is confident the National Executive Council will finally approve the deal.

"We have listened to the debate and concerns raised on the floor of parliament and by the community, and we have come to a position where we believe that this could be the best compromise position and cabinet will then decide."

Dr Puka Temu says the Econet venture's viability was based on the Cabinet making a decision by November 30, but he hints that the deadline will be extended.