Committee fails to agree on energy price hikes

The Industrial Energy Pricing Committee failed during its meeting on Tuesday to finalize a proposal for scheduled price increases of gas and electricity for low-energy consumption industries, amid disagreements between the ministries of petroleum and electricity and the Industry Ministry over the percentage by which prices should be raised.

According to an official serving on the committee, the two parties’ differences could not be settled during the two-hour meeting. The official noted that the petroleum and electricity ministries wanted no less than a 50-percent price hike, while the Industry Ministry was adamant that only a 10-percent price increase be enacted.

The source, which preferred to remain anonymous, added that representatives from the ministries of petroleum, electricity, industry and finance had agreed to consult with relevant ministers and come to agreement within the next two days.

Committee head Amr Assal, who also heads the Industrial Development Authority, refused to comment on details of the meeting, sufficing to say that committee members had discussed various options related to the price increases with the aim of sending a final proposal to relevant ministers.

According to a high-level government official, the meeting came only days after Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif had consulted with the ministers of petroleum, electricity and industry in a failed effort to resolve the impasse.

The source added that Nazif would take a final decision on the price increases within coming days.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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