PETALING JAYA: The Government should review its decision to raise electricity tariffs, as it could “kill” all the benefits of other measures taken by Pakatan Harapan to lower costs of living, says PKR vice president Rafizi Ramli.
“While I understand the Harapan government is trying its best to ease the people’s cost burden by continuing with the surcharge only for non-domestic users, this matter needs to be refined to avoid the rise in tariffs, killing all Harapan’s efforts to control prices.
“Although the Goods & Services Tax (GST) has been abolished and the rise in fuel prices has been abolished, with the rise in electricity tariffs, businesses and industries will use this (as well as the expected Sales and Services Tax starting September) not to lower prices, because they want to ‘wait and see’,” Rafizi said in a statement Monday (July 2).
He was commenting on a report on Friday (June 29) by Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) saying that non-domestic users would have to pay more for their electricity, with the Imbalance Cost Pass-Through (ICPT) surcharge of 1.35 sen per kilowatt per hour (kWh), due to higher fuel and generation costs.
In its filing to Bursa Malaysia, TNB said domestic customers with monthly consumption below 300kWh will not be affected by this ICPT implementation. But for those who use more than 300kWh monthly, the ICPT surcharge will be imposed by Kumpulan Wang Industri Elektrik.
Rafizi said the move would be counterproductive in trying to get consumer prices down.
“This will erode public confidence in Harapan’s readiness and sincerity in finding ways to help the people, many of whom had voted to change the government with the hope it would help to halt unnecessary rise in prices,” he added.
“I am concerned the increase in tariff announced will cause businesses to use this excuse not to reduce prices, although Harapan has kept its promise to abolish GST.
“For this reason, from July till December 2018, it is most important to avoid any sort of tariff hike by the federal government, so as to thoroughly study the reaction of businesses and industries to the steps taken by the government to stabilise the price of goods,” he said.
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