Groups laud deferral of power rate hike in Budget 2015 tweaks

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj says consumers can further benefit from the move if manufacturers decide to reduce the cost of products. ― File pic
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj says consumers can further benefit from the move if manufacturers decide to reduce the cost of products. ― File pic

PETALING JAYA, Jan 21 — Consumer groups are pleased with the postponement of the scheduled electricity tariff hike this year, saying it would reduce their burden.

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj said the move would benefit both consumers and manufacturers.

“We were hoping for the price of electricity to drop, and I am glad it is not going to increase any time soon” he said.

“Consumers can also further benefit from the move if manufacturers decide to reduce the cost of products.

“I hope the tariff hike deferral will be reflected in the prices of goods so consumers will not have to pay additional costs.”

Other consumers groups, however, believe the government should take it a step further by deferring the electricity tariff hike beyond 2015.

Perak Consumer Movement president Darshan Singh Dhilon said the government should consider extending the deferral for a longer period.

“Electricity is a key cost component not only for industries, but also for households,” he said.

“Any hike in electricity tariff will trigger inflation and ultimately impact consumers’ pockets.”

Malaysian Consumers Association secretary general Datuk Amarjit Singh Gill echoed similar views, saying he hopes the tariff would not be revised in the future.

“The fact that the tariff hike has been put on hold will help bigger industries manage their costing,” he said.

“I think the government is taking the right step to ensure manufacturers and the general public do not suffer.”

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