Turkish business group says power price hikes counter economy goals

A leading Turkish business group criticised the government for raising power prices by 14.9 percent this week, saying the move ran counter to targets to grow the economy by 5 percent next year, slow inflation and reduce unemployment.

The increase in the price of electricity puts businessmen in an even more difficult financial position as they struggle to raise production and keep staff employed during an economic downturn, said Ergun Hadi Türkay, head of the Bursa Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (BUSIAD).

Instead of raising power prices, the government should introduce emergency measures to reduce such costs to businesses, Türkay said. The price of electricity and natural has now increased by 32 percent in the past two months, he said.

Bursa is a centre of production for Turkish industry, being home to large manufacturers including car companies.

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced Turkey’s new economic goals in a news conference this week. It also plans to slow inflation to 8.5 percent next year.

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