26 May 2005

Fiji academic accuses Commerce Commission of incompetence

4:13 pm on 26 May 2005

A leading economist in Fiji says the Commerce Commission is incompetent in allowing telecom companies to hike call charges.

Last month the Commission declared most phone charges would drop.

The former economics professor at the University of the South Pacific, Wadan Narsey, says introducing competition is the best way to bring down prices.

But Professor Narsey says the Commerce Commission is only doing the bidding of a state-run monopoly.

"This latest fiasco is a reflection of the fact that they had no idea what the telecom companies are actually proposing and they had no idea what the implications would be, you know, of their ruling. There are even different versions of what their rulings are supposed to be, so it's a complete mess."

Professor Narsey says there are all kinds of conflicts of interests involving the government, the domestic telecom monopoly, Telecom Fiji, and the international telecom monopoly, FINTEL.