Home Business MANE PROBES GOV’T PLANS TO AMEND ELECTRICITY ACT WITHOUT SOLOMON POWER’S ADVICE

MANE PROBES GOV’T PLANS TO AMEND ELECTRICITY ACT WITHOUT SOLOMON POWER’S ADVICE

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Maneniaru
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CHAIRMAN of the Bills and Legislation Committee Hon. John Maneniaru has probed the Government’s most recent plan of dealing with the high cost of electricity.

Hon Maneniaru is probing the Government’s legislative strategy to amend Section 21 of the Electricity Act which allows the Minister of Mines Energy and Rural Electrification to adjust the electricity tariff, based on the recommendation from Solomon Power.

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But he said the Government’s proposed amendment would allow the Minister to adjust tariffs without the need for any advice from Solomon Power.

Hon Maneniaru said he is unconvinced that such a change would be beneficial to everyone.

Rather, the Member for West Are’Are insisted that such an approach might instead come at a high price for Solomon Islanders.

“It is hard to understand how removing the body that has the relevant data, knowledge, and insight of the industry from the tariff setting process will result in a sound and informed decision” Hon. Maneniaru said.

Hon. Maneniaru adds the danger here is that the Minister, in his desire to see electricity prices drop, may be motivated more by political considerations, than economic or technical ones.

Consequently, he said this could have long term detrimental effects on electricity costs since it runs the risk of setting a tariff that overlooks the market dynamics and operational costs within the industry.

Hon. Maneniaru said while legislative change is undeniably needed, Government must pursue substantial and well thought out solutions to this particular problem.

“Our electricity prices are reported to be the highest in the world. Therefore, I sympathize with Government’s desire to fix this issue. However, electricity at the price of accountability systems, evidence, and data, is no solution at all. This amassing of power in one person is still power at a very high cost,” he said.

ENDS//

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