President Edgar Lungu has directed the Ministry of Energy to defer the Tariff review application made by power utility company ZESCO to the Energy Regulations Board.
Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa announced the development and said the President consulted widely on the application.
Mr. Nkhuwa said after consultations, President Lungu has listened to the concerns raised by various stakeholders and members of the public.
The Energy Minister has since advised that all concerned institutions should accordingly suspend the tariff review process with immediate effect.
He said Zambians have voiced out their concerns on the proposed application for the tariff review by ZESCO and its implications on the general cost of doing business.
On 9th March 2019, ZESCO applied to the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) to revise retail electricity tariffs upwards.
Among the proposals include the downward adjustment of the lifeline tariff from 200kwh to 100kwh and elimination of the monthly fixed charge for residential and commercial customers.
ZESCO was basing proposed adjustments of tariffs on prevailing economic conditions such as the rise in the prices of goods and services and fluctuation of the Kwacha against the dollar that they say has contributed to increased operating costs.
ZESCO’s equipment and supplies are procured in foreign currency, therefore, weakening of the Kwacha against the dollar is making procurements expensive for the Parastatal.