Posted By Staff Reporter
TELIKOM is cutting costs and trimming its operations but has no plans to sell it, a top official says.
Independent Public Business Corporation managing director Wasantha Kumarasiri said the government had no plans to sell Telikom as claimed by the PNG Communication Workers Union yesterday.
The union claimed that the Telikom board and its management were scheming to deplete the communication company’s value and eventually sell it.
Kumarasiri said he was not aware of any scheme to sell Telikom.
He said the company was only undergoing reforms to deliver efficient and cost effective service to the public and businesses.
Telikom board chairman Mahesh Patel also said: “We (Telikom) are in the process of building up from a very tired organisation – not killing it”.
Union general secretary Emmanuel Kairu said the Telikom board and the executive management had been collaborating to “kill” the organisation by scheming to deplete its value and eventually putting it up for sale.
Kairu said the union had documents pertaining to the valuation and re-zoning of Telikom’s properties at its 4-Mile depot and the surrounding areas in Port Moresby.
He claimed that the Lae Telikom Training College and the Telikom depot next to Lae market were included in the deal.
Kairu further claimed that certain functions of Telikom had also been outsourced rendering staff useless in office and vulnerable to early retirement.
“If the undercurrents are going the way we forecast, then we fear that the worse will be the truth,” he said.
But Kumarasiri said: “All state-owned enterprises have been asked by the State through its shareholder IPBC to focus on controlling costs and eliminate waste to lower the cost of goods and services to the public.
“The IPBC Act contains certain provisions to guard investments and divestments including disposal of land and properties from dubious transactions.
“IPBC also now have a process of regular review of performance and actions by the SOEs on major transactions.
“PNG has embarked on reforms to the telecommunication industry to allow the efficient use of assets and related investments and promote completion in order to allow best price and service to the public.
“In line with the NEC directive 2011, IPBC is implementing these reforms and it will require vesting some of the historical assets to Telikom to a new entity called DataCo. DataCo is a 100% state-owned.
“There have been sufficient media releases on DataCo (which) will act as a wholesale service provider while retail service entities compete and provide service to the public.
“This reform also will allow opportunity for new entrants to the market dictated by market forces.
“IPBC is aggressively working towards completing DataCo commercialisation.”
The union with members in Telikom, Post PNG, NBC and NICTA will meet today to prepare an information paper for stakeholders including Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
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