Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gov't to delay announcing electricity tariff hike

Malaysia's cabinet may not make an announcement today as expected on a review of electricity tariff hikes, a government minister said.

The move is part of a series of liberalisation announcements that will see petrol subsidies removed from May.

The cabinet in July rejected a proposal for a 4.9 percent price hike, fearing that it would hurt the standing of the unpopular government.

"The announcement is not likely to happen today. We have to coordinate with the prime minister's department," Energy
Minister Peter Chin told Reuters.

"Maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, there will be an announcement."

He declined to say whether the cabinet will still discuss the proposal to raise power rates on Wednesday as reported in
the local media.

Chin in December said his ministry was studying a request by the country's largest power firm Tenaga Nasional to raise tariffs.

The government has also said it will review the price of natural gas, a key fuel source for state-run Tenaga as well as
private power producers such as MMC Corp, Genting and YTL Power.

State oil firm Petronas supplies natural gas to these companies at subsidised prices.

Petronas provides around half the country's budget revenues and the deficit in 2009 hit a more than 20-year record of 7.4 percent of gross domestic product.

– Reuters

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