The Jordanian Cabinet on Tuesday vowed to take “the necessary and decisive steps if it turns out that the new electricity tariffs harm the limited-income segments. The statement, carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, was made following a meeting on Tuesday amid rising demands on the government to reconsider a hike in electricity prices forced by a heavy energy bill.
The government said initially that consumers using up to 650 kilowatt hours per month, who “constitute 92 per cent of total consumers”, will see no change in their monthly bills, but activists cast doubts on the figures and threatened street and other forms of protests. According to Petra, the government decided to consult experts to “stand at the facts” and accordingly make the necessary adjustments.
Earlier Tuesday, Petra reported that Minister of Industry and Trade Sami Gammoh held a meeting with trade sector leaders “to examine the impact of increasing the electricity tariff on the economic sectors”. The minister cited economic difficulties, including the state budget deficit, saying it is forecast to reach JD1.5 billion this year.
The Electricity Regulatory Commission and the National Electric Power Company have announced a gradual pricing system they insist is designed to ensure that only the largest consumers carry the bulk of increased costs.