The Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) has submitted a resolution to parliament calling on the government to cut the fuel surcharge included in the electricity bill every month.
In the resolution, DQP MP Riyaz Rasheed claims that the fuel surcharge was “a type of tax unapproved by the parliament and taken from the citizens, despite the laws clearly stating that any tax could only be taken after parliament approves it.’’
“When President Mohamed Nasheed was campaigning for the presidential election, the pledge he made publicly was to lower the electricity tariff,” Riyaz Rasheed said in the resolution. “It could be believed that raising the electricity tariff from month to month is a deliberate attempt made by the government to make the citizens poor.”
In the resolution the MP says that electricity is one of the country’s basic needs and that due to the hike in electricity tariffs, “today citizens have to spend bulk of their wage on electricity.”
The resolution also says that the owners of medium-sized businesses were worried about the future of their businesses “because of the government’s decision to float the dollar exchange rate in to a band of Rf10.28 – Rf15.42 which has made the prices of goods increase.”
The MP also called on the government to cease withdrawing taxes from the citizens in the name of fees or charges “at a time when adults and children are forced to live in poverty.”
In May last year the main opposition Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) led protests outside State Electric Company (STELCO) complaining about increased electricity tariffs.