Rebate is good, but we need to write off electricity arrears

The government’s decision to maintain the Imbalance Cost Past Transfer (ICPT) rebate of 2sen/kWh for the period of 1st July 2021 until 31st December 2021 is welcomed. The ICPT is a mechanism regulated by Energy Commission to reflect the variation of fossil fuel costs such as coal and fossil-methane. The increase and decrease in fossil fuel cost is reflected in the form of rebate or surcharge every 6 months. Since the prices of fuel generation for the preceding 6 months was lower than the benchmark price, there was a rebate.

However, the government needs to do more. They should set up a mechanism to “write-off” the outstanding electricity bills for families that have lost income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since MCO 1.0, thousands of families in the informal sector have lost so much income that they cannot afford food any more.

The total outstanding electricity bill for the domestic (household) sector has risen from RM1.39 billion in September 2020 to RM1.62 billion in March 2021. The number of households with outstanding electricity bills for more than 5 months is rising exponentially.

We urge the Energy and Natural Resource Minister, YB Shamsul Anuar to set up a mechanism to write-off outstanding electricity for zero-income households, using Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s profits last year of RM3.6 billion.

Central Committee
Parti Sosialis Malaysia
State Secretary
Parti Sosialis Malaysia Malacca

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