According to NAN, Zambia has scrapped nearly 73 per cent hike in electricity tariffs for industrial and commercial users following an outcry from consumers, a spokesman for state power firm Zesco said on Tuesday.
The move comes a month after President Edgar Lungu, who plans to stand in an August national election, reversed a move to nearly double electricity costs for home users.
President Edgar Lungu said the move could hurt the poor.
The country’s power regulator last December approved an increase in electricity charges to 10.35 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour (KWh) from six cents for all users excluding the mining sector.
“We have withdrawn the application we made to the Energy Regulation Board for higher electricity tariff.
“We had a lot of complaints and want to consult further”, Zesco spokesman Henry Kapata said.
The Zambia National Farmers Union welcomed Zesco’s latest decision, and called for more consultation in order to implement tariffs that attract investment into the power sector while not crippling the productive sector.
“It was indeed difficult and costly for farmers to undertake meaningful irrigation (after the December hikes) “, the farmers’ union said in a statement.