Electricity hike suspended

Varela orders the ASEP to suspend the increase in the electricity tariff

The government decided to assume the cost of $ 60 million to stop the rate increase to 274,554 customers who consume more than 301 kilowatt hours per month and would have had an increase of 8.3% during the second half.

The increase was announced a week ago by the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP) , as part of the regular adjustment that is published every semester. However, the news caused a generalized rejection from business, industrial, producer, student and consumer associations because of the  overall effect it would have on the prices of products and services.

Although the measure only touched 24.5% of customers, it was estimated that the entire population was going to be affected because businesses and services would transfer this increase to all consumers.

The $ 60 million is expected to be obtained from the fiscal exemption of $ 300 million that the Executive requested from the National Assembly through a bill that has already been presented, said the minister in charge of Economy and Finance, Eyda Varela de Chinchilla .

While awaiting the decision of the deputies, the Ministry of Economy and Finance will look at the state budget for $ 60 million making cuts of $ 10 million per month. It will try to make cuts in operation for the second semester, said Varela de Chinchilla.

With this subsidy of $ 60 million and the $ 40 million that had been earmarked for customers who consume less than 300 kilowatt hours per month, the state subsidy for energy in the second semester will reach $ 100 million.

"I must be clear that if the tax exemption requested at the Assembly is not approved and the Executive assumes the entire adjustment of the electricity tariff , other areas of State operation will be affected," President Juan Carlos Varela warned. the note that he published at 5:57 pm on social networks.

Composition of the hike

The adjustment of $ 60 million in the rate that the State will now assume corresponds to $ 30.6 million for the tariff of the state-owned Empresa de Transmisi├│n El├ęctrica, SA (Etesa) and the remaining $ 29.4 million to cover the variation in fuel prices in generation with thermal plants.

With the transmission rate, Etesa seeks to recover part of the investment in the third line that was built from Chiriqui to Panama and had a cost of $ 345 million.