The recent increase in electricity tariffs has raised concerns among the business community in Huye District, claiming it has had adverse effects on businesses in the area.
A mini survey carried out by The New Times showed that traders whose businesses entail the use of electricity, had begun to hike the prices of commodities and services.
Flour mills, for instance, have raised the grinding prices of cassava from Rwf 10 to Rwf 15 per kilogramme, and from Rwf 20 to 30 for a kilogramme of Soya beans while that of maize now costs Rwf 60, up from Rwf 40.
However, some traders are yet to adjust the prices. An accounts clerk working at a local barbershop, who spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity, said they would consider adjusting the prices.
"But we will first have to thoroughly think about the decision to make sure it won't affect our business or our clients," he added.
The rise in prices is aimed at mitigating against losses as a result of higher electricity tariffs, the business operators said.
From last week, the state-run Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) hiked electricity tariffs by 20 percent, citing the need for the utility to be a self-sustaining entity. EWSA said as a result of the increase, government subsidies would now drop from Rwf 24 billion to Rwf 17.9 billion per annum.
Effective July 1, 2012, tariffs for domestic, commercial, medium industries, large industries consumers and street lighting, increased to Rwf 134 from Rwf 112 per unit, a statement on the EWSA website reads.
The tariff hike nonetheless seems to have caught the local business community unawares.
"We have increased our prices to recover part of the money we must spend on electricity. Since the tariffs have increased, we have no option," said Aloys Bimenyimana, the proprietor of a flour mill.
"Of course our clients are complaining but the (power tariff) increase is against our will."
However, some traders are reluctant to hike prices fearing such a move would deter their clientele. The traders are already resigned to bearing with the added operating cost.
"Before the electricity tariffs were hiked, I used to spend only Rwf 3,000 on electricity each day, but now I am spending at least Rwf 4,000," lamented Theogene Muhawenimana, a welder.
Some of the area residents are similarly unenthusiastic about the new power tariffs.
"Since the decision to increase electricity tariffs has been taken, we only have to comply with it," a seemingly frustrated woman, who only identified herself as Mama Shema, said.