Demonstration against rising prices in Jordan
Jordan's new cabinet led by Dr Fayez al-Tarawneh on Saturday decided to raise electricity rates on households consuming over 600 kilowatts per hour.
The cabinet issued a statement announcing a 6 percent
increase in tariffs on households consuming over 750 kilowatts per hour, which currently pay a JD 67 bill.
Houses consuming over 1000 kilowatts per hour, or paying a JD 103 electricity bill, will face a 12 per cent increase, while those using "thousands of kilowatts" will suffer a 35 percent increase in electricity rates.
Households paying a JD 50 electricity bill or less will not be affected by the decision, according to the government, which claimed that these consumers constitute 88 per cent during peak hours.
For the commercial sector, subscribers consuming less than 2000 kilowatts per hour every month, with around a JD 185 bill, will not be affected by the hike. These, according to the cabinet's statement, constitute around 90 per cent of commercial subscribers.
Those consuming over 2000 kilowatts will incur a 20 percent increase.
The agricultural sector and small businesses have been spared the hike, while medium-sized industries will pay a 5 percent hike and large industries (other than mining) 14 percent, the Jordan Armed Forces 10 percent, and TV, radio and satellite TV stations 24 percent.
The statement revealed that changes approved by the cabinet will go into effect on Tuesday, June 6.
The price hike comes amid ongoing disruptions in Egyptian gas, which have cost the Kingdom some JD5 million per day, pushing the budget deficit to a near-record JD 2.08 billion.
Egyptian gas supplies, which have been the target of a series of acts of sabotage, currently hover around 30 million cubic feet, some 10 percent of the 300 million cubic feet required to fuel the country’s power plants.
In other news, Jordan's Oil Refinery Company has urged the government not to raise the prices of 95 octane gasoline , as consumers are expected to turn to 90 octane gasoline instead. The company suggested that the prices of both grades of gasoline be raised together, in order to achieve the needed effect on the national economy.
The company said that the 95 octane consumers comprise about 22 percent of total fuel consumers in the kingdom, while it expected this percentage to be reduced to 12-15 percentif the prices of the 90 octane gasoline are to remain the same.