Egypt to exempt millions of subscribers from July's electricity price hikes

Ahram Online , Monday 8 Jun 2015

File Photo: Electricity pylons (Photo: Reuters)

A government committee is set to exempt millions of subscribers from an upcoming electricity price hike, following a Sunday presidential decision to ease the financial burden on poorer citizens, reported state-owned Al-Ahram.

Fifteen million subscribers, who make up the lower three consumption brackets, will be excluded from new price hikes, the committee said.

The exemptees include 4.2 million subscribers who consume up to 50 kw/h. They will continue to pay LE0.07 instead of LE0.09 originally planned for the coming fiscal year.

The second exempted bracket includes 2.6 million subscribers who consume from 50 to 100 kw/h. They will keep paying LE0.14 instead of LE0.17.

The third includes 8.2 million subscribers who consume from 100 to 200 kw/h. They will keep pay LE0.16 instead of LE0.2.

Since President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi took office last year, Egypt has gradually cut energy subsidies to trim its ballooning deficit.

During the current fiscal year, which ends in three weeks, the government has cut fuel subsidies, pushing prices at the pump by up to 78 percent.

The current fiscal year also saw the implementation of the first stage of a five-year plan to lower electricity subsidies by 67 percent to LE9 billion from the LE27.4 billion already allocated in the fiscal year 2014/15.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic, the committee is studying whether to also freeze electricity prices for the fourth category.

Meanwhile, the committee has not decided yet whether the cost of exemptions will compensated by hikes on higher bracket consumers, or not counted in the upcoming budget all together.

The first four brackets represent 57 percent of the total subscription to the state's electricity services nationwide.

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