30 Jun 2017

Tonga Broadcasting Commission to be sold off

5:12 pm on 30 June 2017

Tonga's national broadcaster, the Tonga Broadcasting Commission is to be privatised.

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Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

The Minister of Public Enterprise, Poasi Tei, revealed this in Parliament during deliberations on his ministry's budget estimate.

He told Parliament that in the past three years, the state broadcaster had not been able to pay its dividend, which was contrary to the government's objective of encouraging its enterprises to make profits.

Supporting the cabinet's initiative, the Minster of Finance, Tevita Lavemaau, said the proposal was for government to hold 51 percent of shares while 49 percent will be given to a private company to operate the television and radio stations.

But Lord Tu'i'afitu argued that the move was not wise, and he urged the government to maintain the current status of TBC, because of its reliable news service and Tongan programming.

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