GOVT URGED TO CONSIDER PHASED APPROACH IN IMPLEMENTATION OF PROPOSED 17 PERCENT ELECTRICITY TARIFF HIKE
By Michael Kaluba
The Alliance for Zambia Informal Economy Associations-AZIEA- is proposing a phased approach in bringing the country’s electricity tariffs to cost reflective, as suggested in the recently published cost of service study which has recommended a 17 percent tariff hike for electricity.
AZIEA General Secretary Lameck Kashiwa says the government must be considerate in price adjustments for electricity and the impact it will have on informal sector workers who are failing to sustain their businesses under the current tariffs hence his proposal for the 17 percent tariff hike to be implemented in 3 phases.
And Mr. Kashiwa has complained that the recently announced marketeer booster loans are shielded in secrecy that most informal sector workers who are ideally the target beneficiaries, have no access to information about the said loans from the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises-SMEs.
He notes that there has only been a slight improvement with operations while the informal sector remains volatile as there are no actual benefits from the appreciation of the kwacha which was ultimately expected to reduce commodity prices as well as reduce the cost of doing business.