SOLOMON TELEKOM INTRODUCES 15% TARIFF HIKE

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 2, 2002 – Radio Australia)---The Solomon Islands telecommunications company has increased charges for all its products and services by 15 percent.

The manager of Solomon Telekom, Martyn Robinson, said the tariff increase is a response to financial pressures that began in 1998.

He said the retail price index has gone up, the Solomons dollar has declined in value against the American dollar, and there have been new taxes, including one on imports.

Mr. Robinson said Solomon Telekom also is owed millions of dollars by the government and assets valued at several million dollars were destroyed during the Guadalcanal-Malaita ethnic crisis.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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