31 Aug 2006

Fiji retailers stunned at power price hike

1:31 pm on 31 August 2006

Fiji's Retailers Association says the new 30-per cent hike in power rates will cripple many small businesses.

From next month, the raise is in the form of a 6.5 Fiji cent fuel surcharge on each unit of power used, taking the total charge to 28.5 Fiji cents per unit.

The state-owned Fiji Electricity Authority says the price rise is due to the rising cost of fuel, and has been approved by the Commerce Commission.

But the President of the Retailers Association, Himmat Lodhia, says the government needs to intervene.

"We feel this 30-percent increase is going to basically kill the small businessman. The business community and the consumers are far from recovering from recent interest hikes and we believe the commerce commission in approving such hikes isn't looking after the small businessman and the general consumer."

Himmat Lodhia said also the notice given for the price hike in September was far too short.