Efforts to Privatize Electricity face Resistance

Ziadi continued, “The province has alternative solutions, such as restoring our existing power plants in order to turn Muthanna from a province that imports power from Basra and Dhi Qar into a province that produces electricity and relies on collecting fees and providing maintenance.”

Meanwhile, Mohammed al-Azzawi, a resident of Zayouna neighborhood, told Al-Monitor, “The privatization of electricity has increased the fees, without taking into account the economic conditions in our country. During the first month, I paid 520,000 dinars [$442] for 5,000 units [kilowatts]. If middle-class citizens cannot afford such fees, how can the poor?”

However, Azzam Karim, who lives in the Yarmouk neighborhood in west Baghdad, believes that the privatization of the electricity is the first distinguished project to be launched after 2003. He told Al-Monitor, “I used to pay the local power generator 320,000 dinars [$272] for 16 amps, but now I only pay 50,000-100,000 dinars [$42-$84] a month.”

For his part, Abdul Rahman al-Mashhadani, an economics professor at The Iraqi University, said that the project is bound to fail. He told Al-Monitor, “The project aims to distribute the current production, which amounts to 8,000 megawatts, to all Iraqi regions, in exchange for the investors’ collected fees. The areas in which the project is not implemented are denied electricity, while others can enjoy electricity 24 hours a day.”

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