Steps being taken to rein in high inflation: Erdoğan
The government is taking steps to protect people from high inflation, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, adding that electricity price tariffs will also be readjusted to lower energy cost for households.
“The increases in minimum wages as well as civil servants’ salaries and pensions are some of those steps taken one by one. We have entered a period where the outlook will improve in the month ahead,” Erdoğan said on Jan. 31 following a cabinet meeting in Ankara.
The government will continue to listen to demands and complaints from the public, he added.
“However, we will have to carry the burden of the rise in inflation that is specific to a certain period for some time,” Erdoğan said.
According to the latest data, the annual consumer price inflation in Turkey quickened to 36.06 percent in December 2021, from 21.31 percent in the previous month, with consumer prices rising 13.6 percent on a monthly basis.
The president noted that the government tried hard not to pass the rise in energy costs onto the country’s citizens at a time when coal and natural gas prices rose fivefold and tenfold, respectively during the pandemic.
Amid complaints from people that electricity costs doubled, he instructed the relevant authorities to make the necessary readjustment in electricity tariffs, Erdoğan said.
He recalled that the government for a long time provided subsidies for natural gas and electricity, however, at the start of the year, price tariffs have to be adjusted in order to ensure the sustainability in the energy market.
Last month, a gradual tariff in electricity consumption was introduced.
Accordingly, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) set the limit in the two-stage electricity billing system as 150 kilowatt-hours.
Under the new scheme for households, consumption up to 150 kilowatt-hours a month will cost 1.37 Turkish Liras per kilowatt-hour, and consumption above this limit will cost 2.06 liras.
Erdoğan said after the cabinet meeting that the lower limit for monthly consumption will be increased to 210 kilowatt-hours and consumers will be billed in February according to this new tariff.
He also unveiled new schemes to be provided under the Credit Guarantee Fund to support firms, including small and medium-sized companies.
One of schemes will support investments by companies that focus on the production of high value-added products while another scheme will support companies’ export activities, according to the president.
“We aim to create an economic environment which bolsters investment, employment, production, exports and current account surplus,” Erdoğan said.