The Commerce Commission of Fiji has endorsed the dictatorship regime’s decision to approve exorbitant increases to electricity bills as requested by the Fiji Electricity Authority.
A fortnight ago the interim Cabinet approved a proposal by FEA to increase power charges by 15% with consumers being burdened with minimum hikes of $9, $12 and $15 to their power bills. This increase was proposed for bills currently between $50 and $100.
Residential customers - especially business houses whose power bill is up to several hundred or a few thousand dollars every month - would pay higher charges, that would naturally be passed onto ordinary people already struggling to cope with rising cost of living and skyrocketing inflation.
At that time Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mahendra Reddy, formerly a lecturer at University of the South Pacific but currently employed at Fiji Institute of Technology, had stated the final decision on FEA’s proposal rested with the Commission and no one else.
But Reddy has endorsed FEA’s proposal and shown that the Commission has lost its neutrality and impartiality. It has basically become a toothless tiger that will rubber-stamp any decision of the regime, with no regard to the consequences to the ordinary citizens.
Reddy accepted the position of Commission Chairman despite the controversial sacking of his predecessor, Australian citizen, Charles Sweeny, early this year.
Sweeny was sacked as Chairman by he tinterim Attorney-General and the regime’s Public Enterprises Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
The FEA charges come into force from September the first and will remain for the next two years until 31st August 2011.