The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said it will firm up its plan to privatize the power generation industry within this month now that public hearings on the plan have been concluded.

A Ministry official said the Ministry sent letters to experts requesting their views on its power industry privatization plan and many complied. The Ministry should be able to finalize the plan around Wednesday, following consultations with the Ministry of Planning and Budget.

Many of the experts solicited concurred with the Ministry’s plan to first spin off and then sell two power generating units. The respondents also gave positive feedback to the Ministry’s plan to sell management rights piecemeal and set aside around a 30 per cent stake in the power generation units for foreign investors.

They also pointed out the government’s responsibility to ensure fair power rates and a stable power supply. However, the experts said the government should clarify whether the 30 per cent cap for foreign investor share holdings will continue after privatization.

Some also called for regulations to limit the number of foreign investors and require them to form consortiums with domestic partners. The electric industry’s labour union did not participate in the public hearing this time.