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Monday, 10 February 2020

Shaker unmoved by calls to cut electricity prices for Egyptian industry

Shaker unmoved by calls to cut electricity prices for industry: Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker rejected several proposals at a meeting with the House Industrial Committee on Sunday to slash electricity prices for factories, Ahram Online reports. MPs Mohamed Farag Amer and Ahmed El Sallab urged the government to lower the prices manufacturers pay, arguing that the high electricity costs are damaging the local industry and holding back production.

Shaker poured cold water on the prospect, saying that the government would face an annual bill of between EGP 6-10 bn for every 10 piasters it subsidizes per Kwh. The ministry may consider making downwards price adjustments only if household consumption falls, he said. The committee also proposed waiving accrued interest on overdue electricity bills, similar to what the central bank has recently done with interest on debt for 5k factories.

This comes after several months lobbying by the Egyptian Federation of Investors Associations for some financial relief from the high cost of electricity. The government set up a committee in October tasked with reviewing energy prices every six months.

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