Additional power subsidy for summer months in Oman welcomed

Oman Wednesday 01/June/2022 20:21 PM
By: Times News Service
Additional power subsidy for summer months in Oman welcomed

Muscat: People in Oman have welcomed the decision to provide an additional 15 percent in electricity subsidies during the summer months to customers who have two or less accounts.

His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik issued on Tuesday, 31 May, a directive to provide subsidy from May to August, during a meeting with the Council of Ministers.

With temperatures across many areas in the country soaring above 40 degree Celsius, air conditioners are left on for large parts of the day in many homes and offices, leading to high electricity bills that bite into people’s spending power.

“I have two small children at home and they naturally find the heat uncomfortable, so I need to keep the AC on throughout the day – you can imagine how this affects my electricity bill during the summer months, especially at a time when costs are already mounting due to other obligations,” said Mohsin, an Omani national living in Amerat. “This reduction is quite a welcome relief to many, I am sure.”

Dinesh, an Indian national in Sohar, added: “The current temperatures came all of a sudden…temperatures have been high for a long time now, and May was hotter than it normally is. This has affected our evening activities, when we and our family would normally go out shopping or to the park. Now, however, we are required to stay at home, and the subsidy offered is definitely going to be appreciated by many.”

The weather forecast for 1 June, released by the Civil Aviation Authority showed temperatures of 41 degrees across several towns and cities, including Haima, Marmul, and Thumrait. Buraimi, Fahud, Rustaq, Samail, Adam and Bahla all recorded temperatures of 40 degrees.

In both Seeb and Amerat in Muscat, as well as Yanqul and Mudhaibi, temperatures went up to 39 degrees during the day. Ibri, the capital of the Dhahirah Governorate, recorded the highest temperature in the country at 42 degrees.

Dr Ahmed Al Hooti, head of economic study and a board member at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the OCCI would request more subsidies for customers during this time, so that the financial impact on people would be reduced even further.

“What I would say now is thank you to His Majesty and the government, but we are still looking for more packages to enable us to survive during this current period,” he said. “There has been a plan to reduce 15 percent in the cost of electricity for those who have one meter or two meters. This will reduce their costs and expenses a little bit.

“Whenever our expenses are reachable or easy to reach, then it is possible for businesses and people to work and do business easily,” he added. “But when the costs are high, then you cannot do business and you cannot achieve profits, and this is the problem.

“We are still asking that all companies have their electricity and water costs covered, because these costs are currently higher than they have been at any other time,” Al Hooti said. “We feel that we are currently paying more than 50 percent of our income, just for these services. Today, despite the oil prices being high, the costs of electricity and water are high as well. We ask for the costs of electricity and water to be reduced, so that we can remain competent compared to other countries around the world as well as our neighbours.”