The October electricity bill, which will be delivered in November, will show new, higher prices. Energy Minister Aleksandar Antić says that the bill will be increased by 1 EUR.
The October electricity bill will be higher by 3.8%. An average household will have to pay a Euro more for electricity – the Minister of Energy and Mining, Aleksandar Antić has calculated.
According to him, this is certainly not good news, but it is a result of the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which wanted the price hike to be double digits. Similar impact on the budget could happen in 2017 too because that’s what the memorandum that Serbia signed with the IMF states.
After last year’s 12% hike, with 7.5% going towards new electricity excise and 4.5% directly to the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS), the consumers will have to pay more for the electricity this year too, around 120 Dinars on average.
“I expect that the new IMF’s Board of Directors would approve the fourth and fifth version of the financial arrangement with Serbia”, Antić said on Wednesday and added: “Higher electricity place is the part of that agreement, as is the optimization plan for the EPS, namely redundancies for some employees. At first, the IMF asked for the electricity price hike to be double digits, effective as of April this year, but then we talked about a 7.7% hike as of July and came to an agreement about 3.8% as of October.”
When asked at a press conference about the statement that the EPS made only a few months ago about the electricity price staying the same this year, Antić said that “price increase is never good news” and added that nobody from the Ministry of Energy had ever said about the price not going up.
“The Energy Agency estimated that this price hike will translate into consumers paying 1 Euro more on their electricity bills. As far as the price hike next year goes, that is stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed with the IMF. However, we will try to keep the price on the same course, without too many deviations or rather sharp price increases. Also, we are going to try to adjust the price hikes to the growth of the average income”, the Minister of Energy said.
RETIRING FROM EPS
An agreement has also been reached about cutting down on the number of EPS employees. According to the Minister, those EPS workers who are five years from retirement were offered stimulating severance pays. There are two categories of these employees – those who are entitled to accelerated retirement and those who are working regular years.
In regard to the problem voiced by the trade unions about EPS laying off workers who cannot be replaced, minister Aleksandar Antić said that an employer has the right to keep the employee in the same job between six months to a year until a suitable replacement is found.
(Vecernje Novosti, 31.08.2016)
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