Norway to scrap controversial energy tax

All production sectors gain exemption from electricity tax ahead of new system promoting efficiency

Norway's draft budget for 2004, presented on Wednesday, proposes a "temporary exemption" from the country's electricity tax for all production sectors and the public sector from 1 January, pending introduction of "a new electricity tax system for industries" next July.

The new system will seek to encourage "reduced electricity consumption and more use of environment-friendly energy", the energy ministry said. It added that the move was in part designed to pre-empt possible EU legal action over Norway's "null tax" policy for industrial electricity users (EED 08/10/02).

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