Ministry rejects power utility plan for US$60 mln labor fund

The Ministry of Finance has asked the Government to decree that Electricity of Vietnam Group must transfer part of its last year’s profits to the Government and that it can only appropriate a small portion to its labor welfare fund.

In a dispatch to the Prime Minister’s office on Wednesday, it asked him to reject the state-owned utility’s proposal to earmark VND1 trillion (US$60.7 million) from its 2007 profit of VND2.763 trillion -- which partly came from a power price hike -- to the fund.
 
Instead, it wanted EVN to transfer the entire profit earned from the power price hike to a national fund for developing electricity projects.
 
It also spelled out how the rest of the money can be used – not more than VND668 billion for the labor fund, VND250 billion (US$15.15 million) for the utility’s contingency reserve, and the rest for developing power projects.
 
The ministry also asked EVN to clarify how it arrived at the profit figure.
 
An EVN executive emphasized the need to take care the interest of its 84,000 staff.

National Assembly deputies had earlier slammed EVN’s proposal to appropriate the money to the labor fund, querying its repeated claims of losses and lack of funds to develop power projects.

EVN recently sought the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s clearance to make major hikes in electricity tariffs.

It is eyeing an increase of 15.5 percent overall and 16 percent for commercial users.

The utility controls all transmission grids and retail supply, including Ha Noi Electricity Company and Ho Chi Minh City Electricity Company.

The current average price of power is VND869 per kWh.

Sources: SGGP, Thanh Nien news– Compiled by Yen Chuong

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