Czech Government Plans CZK 60 Billion in Aid for Companies

The Czech government plans to provide 60 billion crowns in aid to companies hit by soaring energy prices, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Wednesday.

The Czech Republic, like other European Union nations, is grappling with soaring energy prices following a sharp reduction in natural gas flows from Russia amid Western sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

The package adds to a cap on power prices for households and the public sector announced on Monday.

The Czech government agreed larger companies would draw from a 30 billion crown package, and a further 30 billion should be made available for smaller companies within a framework proposed by the European Commission, Fiala told reporters.

Aid schemes in EU countries need to be aligned with a bloc-wide agreement expected to be based on a proposal by the Commission, which is seeking more than $140 billion from energy firms to help shield households and businesses from soaring prices.

Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura said the government would, on top of EU plans for a windfall levy on companies in the fossil fuels sector, also aim for a windfall tax on some banks, as well as electricity producers and traders.

“The firms will receive the support in the form of compensation for losses. They can start applying for it already this year,” said Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Síkela.

The government had announced the tax plan earlier but its scope came into doubt after the EU proposals were made public.

The Commission proposal will be debated by EU energy ministers at an emergency summit on Sept. 30.

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