AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Jordan's Cabinet says electricity prices will be raised 15 percent for businesses as of next week to ease a budget deficit that compromises economic growth and swells inflation.
The Aug. 15 rise could spark protests, although the move will not hit citizens directly, unlike a sharp rise in fuel prices last November that ignited riots that left three dead.
Many Jordanians fear the long-expected hike will prompt factories to raise food prices, dealing another blow to low-income citizens.
The government says the rise - a step toward lifting many kinds of state subsidies by 2017 - will allow cash-strapped Jordan to maintain good standing for international borrowing.
A Cabinet statement Tuesday says electricity prices for high usage households will also rise by 15 percent on Jan. 1.
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