Debtors sinking PNG power

PAPUA New Guinea departments and agencies are some of the biggest defaulters of electricity bills, with PNG Power Ltd being owed around K130 million.
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According to The National, Public Enterprises Minister Ben Micah has instructed government departments to pay their bills directly to the power company.

"(They) hardly pay their bills for months and months, even years," he said.

"Instruction has been given to the Secretary for Finance that all government departments, from now on, your bills will be paid directly to PNG Power."

He also said that the private sector was not blameless, and that illegal power use would put the utility deeper into debt.

"There are people who are bypassing meters, they've come up with creative ways, even to avoid EsiPay, and they're using illegal power," he said.

"PNG Power is bleeding because consumers are using power and are not paying."

The Post Courier reports that the National Executive Council has taken actions to recoup the money owed by giving powers to Micah and his deputy Colonel Tom Ur - a former Defence Force chief of staff.

"Those of you who are not doing things properly, who are using power without proper approval, you have broken the law and that is very clear," Ur said.

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