The energy ministry says the government and ruling camp’s decision to hold off on gas and electricity rate hikes does not mean they will be frozen in the second quarter.
The ministry said in a statement on Friday that the two sides agreed to swiftly announce ways to adjust gas and electricity prices after further studying the effects of a hike on the economy and the bond market.
It then quickly stressed that there will be no freezing of such prices, saying that both the government and the ruling camp share the perception that gas and electricity prices must be raised and more time is needed to discuss the scope of hikes.
Given Friday's decision, the current prices will be applied in April. Market observers say, however, that the government is likely to mark up the rates within April given that demand for electricity tends to surge in the third quarter ahead of the summer season.
In issuing such an outlook, the observers also noted that the Korea Electric Power Corporation and the Korea Gas Corporation saw their deficits top 32 trillion won and eight trillion won, respectively, as of the end of 2022.