President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Thursday announced cuts to electricity rates effective from March 1.
In a ceremony held at the President's Office to mark the first 100 days of government, President Solih stated that electricity fares were lowered in order to eliminate inequalities between capital Male' and other islands in the provision of basic facilities.
Additionally, he remarked that lowering electricity fees would establish an effective environment for businesses.
"Lower fees on electricity will be provided from March 1. The fees will be applied from this date onwards on all electricity bills for homes and businesses", stated the President.
According to President Solih, the reduction of electricity fees would be divided into three phases. The first change is abolishing price differences in all islands for bands over 400 units in the domestic category.
"This change will equalize electricity fares in Male' and other islands", he said.
Noting the reduction in fees, president gave an example of how an electricity bill that costs 2,200 will now be lowered to MVR 1,700.
Additionally, President Solih emphasized that one of the biggest complaints he received from islanders during campaign visits was the large expenditure spent on electricity by businesses.
"The reduction on electricity fees include lowering the fees of business category bands to the same level. Thus, fees for business category of all islands have been reduced to the rates of Addu and Fuvahmulah's business category", President Solih stated.
The president highlighted that this change will create an effective setting for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
"Businesses that were paying MVR 4,600 for electricity bills will now have to pay about MR 3,400. That is an additional MVR 1,200 entering the common person's pocket", he said.
Moreover, President Solih announced that the government will provide a fuel discount after determining the amount saved by abolishing the five percent duty on diesel. The president stated that this would further lower electricity fees which all businesses and homes in both Male and islands will benefit from.
President Solih also noted the importance of investing in renewable energy sources such as solar panels, especially in the long run.
"If we use renewable energy, electricity can be provided at much cheaper rates", President said.
Lowering electricity fees was an integral part of President Solih's first '100-day' pledges.