2 Jul 2008

Tonga's Parliament approves money for Shoreline power company

10:24 am on 2 July 2008

Tonga's parliament has approved over 12 million US dollars for the buying of the power company Shoreline.

But the Matangi Tonga online reports the money will not be spent until concerned People's Representatives understand the deal.

The King is a major shareholder of Shoreline but the government is trying to raise money to return the company to public ownership.

MP Akilisi Pohiva says money should not be allocated money as no evaluation report was tabled in the House from accounting giant Price Waterhouse Coopers.

And he says there were no annual reports from the Tonga Electric Power Board for four years before Shoreline took over the power utility.

MP Clive Edwards also questioned why it has been classified as an equity purchase.

But the Information Minister, Afualo Matoto, says that's because it is a professional classification by budget officials.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Dr Feleti Sevele says the money can be allocated in the budget on the provision it wouldn't be spent subject to further talks.

Shoreline increased its electricity charges recently by 21 percent to offset the rising price of fuel.