The International Monetary Fund is asking Serbia to raise electricity and gas prices three more times – on May 1 and November 1 next year, as well as on May 1, 2024, in addition to in to the announced price increase on January 1, 2023.
This was written in a document published by the IMF, which details the recently approved two-year stand-by financial arrangement for Serbia.
According to reports, the increase in the price of gas in each step should be “at least” 10 percent, and electricity – also according to the same dynamics in each step – by eight percent, minimum.
The IMF has allocated to Serbia a total of 2.4 billion euros via the new standby arrangement. Serbia will withdraw part of that money this year and next, while it will save the follow-up for 2024 if the need arises.
Energy policy is the focus of Serbia’s new arrangement with the International Monetary Fund.
The arrangement envisages putting Serbia’s energy sector on a “sound financial foundation”. Energy companies, as pointed out, should become financially viable during the duration of the arrangement.
“The next energy price increase will take effect after winter, followed by further adjustments. Investments in electricity production should be switched to renewable energy sources, with new business plans put in place and possible participation of the private sector, while professional management should be in charge of implementation,” the IMF pointed out.
According to the document published by the IMF, an increase in the price of gas and electricity is necessary in order to enable the financing of complete production costs in the medium term. The IMF believes that a gradual increase in prices will enable easier adjustment to the new prices, given that, as pointed out, incomes in Serbia are still far below the European average.
(Biznis i Finance, 23.12.2022)
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