Government considers 10 pct power price discount to ease Covid-19 pains

By Ky Duyen   April 2, 2020 | 10:30 am GMT+7
Government considers 10 pct power price discount to ease Covid-19 pains
An electricity worker fixes cables in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.

The trade ministry has proposed a 10 percent discount on electricity rates to relieve financial pressures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The total value of the discount is estimated at VND11 trillion ($466 million) and will benefit both households and businesses between April and June, according to a proposal submitted to the government by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Households that consume less than 300 kWh per month will be eligible to avail of the discount. This means a 300 kWh bill will be charged VND563,040 ($23.86) a reduction of VND62,560 ($2.65) from the existing rate. About 87 percent of households consume less than 300 kWh a month.

The trade ministry said that those who consume more than 300 kWh are typically in the high-income bracket and not affected financially by the pandemic, and will not therefore be eligible for the discount.

The ministry also proposed a 10 percent discount for businesses and factories, and said power will be supplied free to quarantine facilities and hospitals where Covid-19 patients are being treated.

The proposal came after businesses and households requested discounts of up to 50 percent  in electricity prices for three months as their incomes have been slashed by the pandemic.

However, power consumption in the first quarter rose 6.34 percent year-on-year, according to national power utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN).

In March last year, the government had increased power prices by 8.36 percent to VND1,864 (8 cents) per kWh after keeping them unchanged for two years.

 
 
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