Japanese govt greenlights household electricity price hike

Tokyo, May 17 : The Japanese government has endorsed seven major power companies' plans to raise household electricity prices from June. The government, at a meeting of related cabinet ministers, approved the screening standards on the sizes of rate hikes, compiled by the Industry Ministry late last month, Xinhua news agency reported. The price hike range from around 15 to 40 per cent, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference on Tuesday. The increased electricity rates are expected to be implemented on June 1 after authorisations are given by the Industry Ministry. Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said, "We recalculated the rates after carefully considering the latest fuel prices and other factors." The seven power utilities, including Tokyo Electric Power Company, had applied for hike in their regulated household rates, stating that their balance sheets are suffering due to soaring prices of natural gas used in thermal power generation. /IANS


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