Party backlash over 33% boost in electricity prices

The ruling Maldivian Demcratic Party (MDP) have expressed concern over the raised electricity prices in Male’.

“It has always been a vow of the MDP to lower living costs, however at the moment electricity prices are ridiculously high,” said MDP chairperson Mariya Didi.

MDP MP Hamid Abdul Gafoor explained the main issue was the change in the pricing scheme.

“On average, a household will use at least 300 to 350 units of electricity in a month,” he said.

STELCO, the state electric company, recently dramatically increased the price for the first 300 units of electricity. The first hundred units have risen from Rf1.60 to Rf2.25, while the second and third hundred units have risen from Rf .70 and Rf2.15 to Rf2.50 each.

That means the average monthly electricity bill for household has risen almost overnight from Rf545 ($US42) to Rf725 ($US56).

“Many people are assuming we are attacking the government, but we are just voicing the concerns of the people,” Hamid said.

Currently there is a Rf45 subsidy per head per day to help with the cost of electricity for households with monthly incomes of less than Rf9450 ($US735).

“We have to get rid of this mentality that if a house hold electricity bill is high, they are well off,” urged MDP MP Eva Abdulla. “We have to assume that it might just be 12 people living in that household, chipping in for the bill – this is the reality.”

The president’s office issued a statement claiming the government was listening to the concerned MPs.

“We can’t provide additional financial assistance to STELCO – if we did that we would have to start printing money, and this would devalue the ruffiyya,” said the president’s press secretary, Mohamed Zuhair.

Hamid agreed that the solution was not to print more money.

“If we were to print an additional Rf50 million, it would only raise inflation and we would have no control over prices,” he said.

“The MDP wants to increase the subsidy, but there are many issues we need to rethink,” he said. “The figures we are currently using to calculate eligibility for the subsidy is very outdated, so there is research underway to get a ground figure.”

Mariya noted that many eligible households were failing to claim the subsidy.

“We have conducted house-to-house research and found that many people do not have sufficient information about the subsidy and thus have not been filling out their subsidy forms,” she said.


The government could only boost subsidies if it reduced its current spending, Eva claimed, renewing the government’s controversial calls to slim the administration by reducing the spend on civil servant salaries.

“The government needs to reduce the civil service – offices should only have the required number of employees for optimal performance. Only then will government spending be reduced,” she said.

Civil service spending must be kept “on hold” until the government’s income surpassed Rf7 billion, Hamid said.


7 thoughts on “Party backlash over 33% boost in electricity prices”

  1. How about cutting down staff at Stelco, Getting rid of excess spending and bringing customer focused attitude ... Will get both prices down and boost customer satisfaction...

    Proper demand forecasting methodologies and bringing efficiency through minimizing procedures can help immediately..

    Process automation can be the next step...And the list goes on... The only thing that is required is the will to change... and then to embrace change....

  2. I agree with Ahmed, about the need for change in the business culture of has been spoon fed by the government too long and has become too sloppy to operate in the market.

  3. Umm.. Isn't MDP in power? Shouldn't we see ACTION in THEIR government if this is what the party thinks?

    There is no point in this publicity stunt by 'MDP MPs' when the MDP led government is doing something completely different!

    Somehow my optimism in this government has been replaced by despair when I see that the right hand and the left hand cant seem to coordinate. This is only because the brain is no longer in control (in my humble opinion of course!).

  4. @Ahmed, dheyo: sounds like armchair engineers or wannabe ones. Fact of the matter is Male’ powerhouse is most efficiently operated powerhouse across the country. If you dare, get the data from all the powerhouses. Male’ operations have the highest generation efficiency.

    Corruption within previous leadership and irresponsible million dollar building project are also issues that have to be addressed. But then, just because those wrongs had happened, it is not good enough reason now to perpetuate below cost pricing.

    About tariff ‘hike’, look at the figures. Are you able to get anything from Male’ the same price as you paid for it 18 years back!!! and specially when about 70% of its cost of production is something that you can not manage and when it has increased tremendously over the years.

    The last time Male’ domestic tariff was raised on 1992, but after that domestic tariff was reduced a number of times, including at a time, a month before presidential election in 2003.

    By the way, Male’ folks, you pay much lower tariff then any other island in the country.


  5. this stunt alone shows MDP is full of politics and lacks sincerity in their service to the people. one day MDP mps hold a new conference asking their own government to reduce electricity bill. the next day MDP government spokesperson responds to the mps, and the next day MDP operated news website runs the story. pretty well orchestrated, dont you think?

  6. Residents in Male' have been paying a subsidized rate for electricity for a very long time. The rate continued even when the price of diesel (which forms 70% of costs) increased by 400% in 2008. Charging below cost would not be sustainable in any

    I agree with ahmed and dheyo that STELCO must be managed professionally as a Corporate and that includes charging at cost and being free from political influence.

    As customers we need to think if our electricity usage is reasonable and cut back on wastage.


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