Parliament passes bill mandating formulation of a billing regulation for utility services

State Electric Company (STELCO) headquarters in Male' City.

Parliament, on Monday, passed the bill proposing amendments to the Utility Regulatory Act – to mandate the formulation of regulation pertaining to billing in order to address conflicts arising with respect to billing.

The bill was passed with additional amendments proposed by the Environment and Climate Change Committee during Monday’s parliamentary sitting, by the unanimous votes of 57 members in attendance.

Submitted by Kelaa MP Ibrahim Shareef, on behalf of the government, the mandates the formulation of regulation pertaining to billing for utility services in order to address conflicts arising with respect to billing. The amendment proposed by the Committee was to seeking the opinion of service providers when formulating the regulation. They also added two additional subsections behind Utility Regulatory Act’s Article 34, Section 1.

Whilst Parliament has approved the bill with the additional amendments proposed by Committee – MP Shareef, when presenting his bill, said its main purpose was to ease difficulties arising from different billing periods for basic services required by the public.

“Also to solve other issues arising with respect to billing, in a manner which protects the rights of both parties,” he added.

The bill read that Regulatory Authority should be the body formulating the regulation with respect billing by service providers for services facilitated for the public. It stresses that a standard billing cycle should be specified in this regulation.

Apart from this, the bill states the regulation must specify circumstances that allow leniencies in payments and penalizing mechanisms for delayed payments.

Utility Regulatory Act established an official authority to regulate and oversee the proper management of public utility services, and also defines the mandate of the regulatory body, including general guidelines, plans, and procedures in the provision of utility services.