The decision to raise the price of electricity by 15.28% came into effect on March 1 and guest house owners increased their rates by VND1, 000 per kWh and prices of many goods have also increased dramatically.
|Students cook together to sace expenses. (Photo: Dan Tri)|
According to economists, this year’s electricity price hike will not harm the average man’s life. Besides, the government also supports the poor households with VND30, 000 per month.
A student from Van Lang University said school fees had increased at the end of last year and now the electricity prices had increased, while other expenses such as water, room rent and food prices seem to increase every day. He was finding it difficult to meet his expenses on his current allowance and was feeling the pinch. He and his friends have had to cut down their expenses on many items so as to pay for essentials like the higher electricity price, water bill and gasoline.
He said that earlier nearly 20 people cooked their own meals but now they cook together to save expenses. Each day, one of them goes to the market, two of them cook the food and two clean the dishes for all of them. In this way they are able to save money and time.
Earlier, each student went individually to school by motorbike but now two people go together to school to save gasoline. Some even save electricity by using the internet in the library.
The price hike has affect students’ lives but they are bonding well together and trying to overcome their hardship.
Consumers and businesses will have to pay an extra VND165 per kWh from March 1. However, officials were trying to assure the concerned public that the electricity price hike should not be a matter of concern. They believed that the increased prices will push costs up to 1.33 percent at the most and should not be reason to worry. Poor households would also receive a VND30, 000 per month to help pay for electricity bills.
This increase in electricity prices means that the government is to remove its current subsidy for the first 50kWh for all consumers. “Poor” households have a monthly income of 400,000 dong or less in rural areas and VND500,000 per month or less in cities. With the VND30,000 support, poor households in effect will only have to pay VND20, 000 for 50kWh per month.