The Adviser to the Minister of Energy and Power Khaled Nakhleh said that at the end of every month and before issuing the kilowatt tariff for power generators rumors loom in the market over fuel outages and that owners are resorting to the black market to secure diesel in order to put pressure on raising the tariff.
Nakhleh said that such practices conducted by power generator owners to improve their conditions is not acceptable amid such exceptional circumstances.”
Nakhle added in an interview with Mario Abboud “Voice of the People” program broadcasted at Sawt Beirut International (SBI) and “LBCI”: “For 5 million Lebanese there are 4,000 generator owners. We have tried to meet the demands of generator owners as much as possible, but we have to look to millions of Lebanese as well.”
Nakhle didn’t deny that there is black market, and the sector is in an ideal situation, adding that the crisis is being managed in its best way.”
He said that the Ministry of Energy is responsible for delivery in oil facilities, but there are other problems that other ministries like the Ministry of Economy and Trade are concerned of such as fuel smuggling and diesel prices.
Regarding the generator owners’ demand to raise the fixed-price in the bill, Nakhleh said: “The fixed fees were previously set to preserve the right of generator owners whether they run their generators for one or 20 hours. This fee covers the cost of employees and workers. So why to change the fixed fees now? Do workers receive their salaries today in dollars?”
Nakhleh added that the ministry insists on the current fees for generators, because raising it means that subscribers will be unable to pay the bills anymore.
“If the diesel is priced at 3,900 LBP, the power generator bill will increase by 140 percent,” he said.
Nakhleh said that the ministry is responsible towards both the owners and the subscribers, therefore it cannot respond to the demands of one party only.