Ministry causes confusion over new power prices


The Serbian Mining and Energy Ministry caused confusion on Tuesday when it issued two statements about the price of natural gas within the space of half an hour, the second contradicting the first.

The first statement reported by the state TV (RTS) said that households will pay 8 percent more for electricity and 9 percent more for gas as of May 1, the minimum price rise demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under its current arrangement with Serbia. The Ministry statement said that “despite pressure it managed to get the lowest possible price rise of 8 percent for electricity and 9 percent for gas”.

The Ministry issued a second statement about half an hour later saying that gas prices would be raised by 10 percent as the minimum demanded by the IMF.

N1 reported earlier that the IMF told official Belgrade to raise power and gas prices despite the price rises which took effect on January 1. Those prices are supposed to be raised on May 1 this year and twice more later. An IMF document said the price of gas should be raised by at least 10 percent each of those times and electricity by 8 percent.