President reiterates commitment to electricity subsidies

The president has revealed the government will further subsidise electricity bills to cushion people in Male’ from rising energy costs.

Speaking in his weekly radio address, President Mohamed Nasheed acknowledged that many households in Male’ were having difficulty with the new electricity prices.

“Our estimate is that about 3000 households struggle to pay their bills. Therefore, the government has decided to provide them with more support,” he said.

President Nasheed also stated that more people were being made aware about the application process for subsidies.

STELCO, the state electricity company, recently dramatically increased the price for the first 300 units of electricity. In response, a group MPs from the ruling government’s own party came forward to urge the government to do something.

The government has said previously that it will broaden eligibility for subsidies, noting that the current eligibility criteria was based on data collected in 1997.

Under that data, the poverty line is considered Rf 21 (US$1.50) a day. The president said that a new survey was under way.