No Electricity Tariff Hike This Year
According to Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, there will be no hike in electricity tariff nationwide this year.
This was in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s assurance that the Government would not raise electricity tariff during the restructuring of Budget 2015 in January.
Ongkili added that although it is a norm to revise electricity tariffs every six months, the Government has decided not to do so in 2015.
Electricity Tariff relates closely to Fluctuation of Oil Prices
As for next year, he said the Government will need to review the global oil prices first before deciding on a new tariff rates. The Government hopes that next year oil prices will remain stable, as extreme high or low prices will affect Malaysia’s economy.
Recently, many business groups such as The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) and Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (MAICCI) have persuaded Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) to lower electricity tariff as the prices of gas and coal – the primary sources for generating power – have declined.
ACCCIM’s President, Datuk Lim Kok Cheong said TNB usually raises the tariffs periodically based on increases in fuel prices. He also said that TNB could save an estimated RM730 million this year based on the drop in prices of natural gas, oil and coal prices. Reduction in tariffs was also seconded by MAICCI’s President, Tan Sri K.K. Eswaran.
Kota Marudu MP further commented that the Government was aware of the people’s complaint on businesses that have yet to reduce their prices. He said the price of goods could only go down in accordance with the drop in oil prices with the cooperation of all manufacturers, suppliers and traders. He added that appeals to lower the price of goods have gone through the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry and members of the federal and state cabinets.
Other ministers who have insisted that businesses must lower prices includes Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Haslan Malek.
Ismail posted on his Facebook recently that “If consumers boycott their businesses, they will surely have no choice but to reduce their prices”. He said his statement was directed at businesses whom he said were “reluctant” to lower their prices even though the price of petrol has declined.