Increase of Electricity Rate Revoked
Khartoum – The committee formed to follow up on the implementation of the recently adopted economic measures, at a meeting yesterday presided over by the First Vice President (FVP) Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, decided to revoke the announced increase of rate of electricity for residential areas. The committee said its decision to revoke the increase is effective as from 1st August and will remain in force until further notice.
The meeting also decided to set up a committee comprising the Minister of Finance as head, Minister of Water Resources and Electricity and governor of the Central Bank of Sudan to prepare a study on reform of electricity sector and the steps related to the gradual lifting of subsidy provided the committee takes immediate measures to ensure undisrupted flow of fuel for thermal power generation facilities to sustain supply of electricity to the consumer.
The FVP said the committee listened to a detailed briefing from the Minister of Water Resources and Electricity on the reasons for increase of the electricity rate and the committee after lengthy decision affirmed the need for gradual lifting of subsidy on commodities in order to realize the overall goals of national economy. It indicated that the electricity sector was also affected by the recently adopted economic measures as the price of gasoline used for power generation shot up.
Mr. Taha added that the reform of the electricity sector entails the increase of generation facilities such as construction of Dams and focus on hydrogenation.
The FVP underscored the need to abide by the guidelines of the economic policy contained in the 3-year programme and need for the concerned Ministers to commit themselves to carry out and exercise their jurisdictions as specified by the general policy of the state.
"Technically, the decision to lift subsidy is correct but needs a comprehensive review taking into consideration the political circumstances" he said, calling on the citizens to support the state policy by rationalizing consumption in government departments.
It is worth noting that the Minister of Electricity and Water Resources earlier announced the increase of electricity rate for the residential sector for consumptions exceeding 600 KW and the decision was met with wide rejection from various society sections, prompting Imams of mosques and civil society leaders to call for the immediate revoke of the increase. Similarly, the Council of Leaders of the National Congress Party (NCP) rejected the increase and referred the matter to the President of the Republic.
By Al-Sammani Awadallah, 29/07/2012