Food, Agriculture and Energy Minister, Onder Sennaroglu has today, announced details of substantial increases in electricity prices.
Mr Sennaroglu was speaking at a press conference he held after the Council of Ministers meeting this morning. In addition to the price increases, he spoke about the introduction of smart meters for all electricity users, although few details were given. There was also a discussion about the weak financial state of KIBTEK.
However at the core of the announcement were the price increases for electricity which have been approved by the Council of Ministers.
These increases are 18.42% for subscribers who use up to 250 kilowatt hours per month while those using more than 250 kilowatt hours face even higher increases ranging from 25% to 30% for incremental amounts.
Retail shop owners have complained bitterly, saying that these increases will further damage the economy and likely force many operators to close down. It is hoped that prices will fall again when the water pipeline project is completed, which will also bring electricity generated in Turkey directly to the TRNC.
Reports are coming in on reactions by consumers and national newspapers over the 18.42% electricity price increases imposed earlier today.
There have been a number of commentators recalling that Prime Minister Yorganciolgu had said, in 2011, that price increases at the time were destroying the public.
The shadow Finance Minister, Ersin Tatar said that if measures had been taken in a timely fashion, then these kinds of increases would not be required.
He pointed out that with a turnover of TL 700 million, this increase of 20% would take TL 140 million from the public.
The head of the electricity workers union (ELSEN) Caglayan Cesurer, pointed out that there were numerous and huge bills still unpaid by the state and these should be settled before increases are considered or proposed. He said that in the latest budget proposals, the state was planning to stagger repayment of its bills over a period of ten years, with no payments at all, in the first two years.
The union leader also felt that concessions made to AKSA the private electricity generator should be completely withdrawn.