9 Jan 2015

Soldiers could be used to collect power bills in PNG

2:01 pm on 9 January 2015

Police and soldiers in Papua New Guinea will be deployed under a state of emergency declared to help collect money owed to the country's electricity provider.

Port Moresby

Port Moresby Photo: AFP

The Post Courier reports that the National Executive Council decided to take the action to recoup 77 million US dollars owed to PNG Power by both the public and private sectors, as well as individuals.

In other measures to support the ailing utility, the Public Enterprises Minister Ben Micah will take control of all powers in relation to electricity services and regulation, with the Defence Force's former chief of staff, Colonel Tom Ur, as his deputy.

Mr Micah says about 30 percent of the electricity generated by PNG power is used illegally, with the public sector being the biggest culprit.

He says the police and military will be used where and when necessary to enforce the state of emergency.

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