6 Oct 2005

Fiji govt blames overseas shareholders for telecommunications companies reluctance to reduce rates

11:23 am on 6 October 2005

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has blamed the overseas shareholders of two of the country's telecommunications companies for their reluctance to reduce charges as directed by the Commerce Commission.

Laisenia Qarase has told Radio Legend it is the overseas shareholders of FINTEL and Vodaphone Fiji which are not supporting the new reduced rates.

FINTEL is 49% owned by Britain's Cable and Wireless and Britain's Vodaphone has a 49% stake in Vodaphone Fiji.

Mr Qarase says these overseas shareholders are likely to take legal action against the new rates but says he hopes they don't.

Mr Qarase says the local shareholders of the Fiji companies support the reduced charges.

The prime minister has called on all the local telecommunications companies to reduce their rates from today.

He says this is the trend around the world and will greatly benefit Fiji's economy.

Later yesterday, Vodaphone Fiji said it would implement the new rates from today.