26 Sep 2006

30% fuel surcharge on Fiji power prices reimposed

7:05 pm on 26 September 2006

Fiji's Commerce Commission has reaffirmed its earlier decision to impose a 30% fuel surcharge on the price of electricity.

In the face of nationwide protests two weeks ago, the Commission had suspended the fuel surcharge to receive public submissions.

The Commission chairman, Thomas Raju, says they have reviewed the submissions and decided to stand by their earlier decision.

But Mr Raju says the poorest consumers using minimal electricity of up to 75 units a month will not pay any surcharge while those using between 75 and 125 units a month will pay 15% extra.

Schools and religious organisations will be exempt from the increase.

All others will pay the full 30% surcharge which together with 12½% Value Added Tax imposed by the government will make an effective increase of over 34%.

The state-owned Fiji Electricity Authority had earlier threatened to ration power supplies by periodic blackouts if the surcharge was not approved.