Source: Vientiane Times
The state-run Electricite Du Lao (EDL) and Vientiane Water Supply State Enterprise have cut power and water tariffs by three and five percent respectively to help people cope with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
The reduced tariffs, which will be valid for three months, will cost the enterprises billions of kip in revenue losses.
EDL is offering the cut for May, June and July, which will result in the enterprise losing more than six billion kip in revenues every month, its Managing Director, Mr Chanthaboun Soukaloun, told the local media on Friday.
Though the cut does not amount to a huge reduction, it is a contribution being made by EDL to help people overcome the impacts of the pandemic, he said.
Mr Chanthaboun said the enterprise is offering a reduction in tariffs despite having huge outstanding debts.
The Vientiane Water Supply State Enterprise has announced it will cut monthly tariffs for households by five percent for June, July and August.
The enterprise’s General Manager, Mr Khamphouy Vongsakhamphoui, made the decision, which excludes value-added tax.
In addition, the enterprise has extended the time for payment of bills from the existing two months to three months.
The reduction in tariffs by the two state-run enterprises came against the backdrop of the government introducing many relief measures. It is mulling additional policies to help people, businesses and workers to cope with the economic impacts of the second wave of Covid-19 infections. The current outbreak has forced the government to impose a lockdown that has significantly impacted businesses and livelihoods.
Statistics showed that 84,418 people are currently unemployed and suffering severe financial hardship across the country as a result of the pandemic. This figure includes many Lao workers who were laid off in other countries.
The statistics are among the findings of a survey conducted by village authorities in an attempt to ascertain the number of people in urgent need of government assistance.
Authorities will now draw up relief measures and submit them to the government for approval in order to help those in need.