The National Social Protection Agency (NSPA) has announced savings of MVR20 million (US$1.3 million) in electricity subsidies due to the steep fall in international oil prices.
Haveeru reported NSPA CEO Mujuthaba Jaleel as saying that the agency had provided a monthly average of MVR81 million (US$5.3 million) in subsidies last year, with this month’s outlay expected to fall by 25 percent.
International oil prices plummeted from US$100 per barrel to US$80 in just three months late last year, while current prices have dipped below the US$50 mark per barrel.
Mujuthaba also said that the recently announced re-registration of people wanting electricity subsidies – between February 10 and April 9 – would result in a further reduction in costs.
The re-registration comes after the government announced it would start providing targeted subsidies for food and electricity in order to ease the state budget deficit.
The International Monetary Fund had previously pointed out the need to target the subsidies saying that it would result in “substantial savings”.