Ministry Announces Electricity Price Hike 

By Pe Thet Htet Khin 11 May 2017

NAYPYIDAW — Burma’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy has announced plans to increase electricity prices, though it has not yet decided the new rates.

“We will adjust and fix the new electricity prices depending on the location, the usage, and the type of user,” U Htay Aung, deputy permanent secretary of the ministry, told the ministry’s monthly press conference on Tuesday.

The ministry divides electricity users into three categories: households, businesses, and industrial purposes. The new rates will be different for each, said U Htay Aung.

State and divisional energy officials, Lower House lawmakers and technicians met for the second time on Monday to discuss new electricity rates.

U Myint Oo, deputy director of the Electricity Planning Department, said the officials would consult the public before seeking approval from state authorities.

The previous government attempted to increase electricity prices in November 2013, but aborted its plan in the face of strong opposition from the people.

“If electricity prices and taxes increase, but salary stays the same, we will have to moonlight to get extra income,” said an education ministry employee, who asked for anonymity. “Electricity bills cost me more than 10,000 kyats every month. Any rise in electricity prices should be confined to businessmen.”

Currently, households pay 35 kyats per unit up to 100 units and 40 kyats per unit up to 200 units. Any units used above 200 cost 50 kyats per unit.

Industrial users pay 75 kyats per unit up to 500 units; 100 kyats from 501-10,000 units; 125 kyats from 10,001-50,000 units; and 150 kyats from 50,001 to 300,000 units. The unit price drops to 100 kyats for usage that rises above 300,000 units.

The government subsidizes about 333 billion kyats annually and the national grid covers 37 percent of the population, according to figures from the energy and electricity ministry.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.