IEC Reform Put Off One Year, for Now

Lack of agreement with workers undermines breakup of monopoly.

Zvi Zrahiya
Zvi Zrahiya
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Zvi Zrahiya
Zvi Zrahiya

Electricity reform is going to be postponed by a year, as the government stands to extend the Israel Electric Corporation's monopolistic license by an additional year to March 2007. According to current law, the IEC's license to transmit and distribute electricity is supposed to end this March.

However, the state has yet to reach an arrangement with IEC workers regarding the reform, and so it has sought to delay its implementation. A bill to postpone implementation was submitted this week and approved by the Knesset.

According to the planned reform, the IEC would be broken up into separate companies responsible for production, transmission and distribution of electricity in order to open the electricity market to competition.

National Infrastructures Minister Roni Bar-On had announced that he intended to implement the law without delay. However, Knesset Economic Committee chair Amnon Cohen (Shas), who submitted the bill to delay electricity reform, expressed concern that even in a year's time no solution to the current difficulties will be found, and that the current situation will persist.

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