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Myanmar govt extends electricity subsidy until December

The Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) announced on August 18 that Myanmar households will not need to pay for the first 150 units of electricity consumed each month until the end of December due to the continued outbreak of COVID-19.

However, embassies, United Nations organisations, and international organisations will not enjoy the power subsidy. The government has been subsidising household consumption of electricity since April and will continue to do so for the rest of the year.

In April, it forked out a total of K 35.5 billion to subsidise the first 150 units of electricity consumed at some 4.5 million households in the country, according to U Zaw Htay, spokesperson of president’s office.

U Soe Myint, deputy permanent secretary of the MOEE, said the government is in the process of calculating how much it has since paid for the subsidies and homuch more it will need to fork out for the next five months.

He said consumption trends have varied during the period between April and August, so the government has yet to finalise the total paid for the subsidies.”Some households have tried to reduce their power consumption to avoid paying but others use more when they opt to stay at home to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. The meter readings and calculations are still being processed,” he said.

Roughly, the ministry is expecting to fork out K11,550 to subsidise each eligible household.
“The government has been making every possible effort to produce more electricity to meet household demand, said U Soe Myint.

The move was announced a day before the Ministry of Health and Sports warned the public to take precautions against a potential second wave of COVID-19 after four locally transmitted cases were reported in Sittwe, Rakhine State in the past two days.

The additional subsidies will add to the losses the State expects to incur this year. In June, that amount was estimated to be between K100 billion and K200 billion, according to the MOEE.
Myanmar has so far reported 379 cases of COVID-19 up to the morning of August 19. More than 80 percent have recovered and six have passed away.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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