ArmInfo. The Regulator studies the possible ways of revising tariffs for gas and electricity, Chairman of the Public Services Regulatory Commission Robert Nazaryan stated in parliament today.
Nazaryan informed that the Commission studies possibility of reducing tariffs for socially disadvantaged groups of society, as well as for greenhouses and enterprises on agricultural processing. At the same time, Nazaryan noted that creating beneficial conditions for one group of population should not harm interests of the remaining ones. In this regard he stated that new sources of financing should be found for reimbursement of expenses.
As for the possible terms of revising the tariffs he noted that in case relevant sources of financing are found tariffs will be revised in the terms set by the legislation but no sooner than 6 months after they came into force. This means that tariffs on gas may be revised not earlier than by January 1, 2017, and tariffs on electricity by February 1. At the same time he expressed hope that decision on this issue will be made within the mentioned dates.
To recall, Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan said at the Government's sitting on September 15 that the gas and electricity tariff policy will be revised in Armenia. "I suggest that the Public Services Regulatory Commission, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Ministry of Labor and Social Issues should jointly discuss and submit proposals on revision of the gas and electricity tariff policy," Karapetyan said, noting the matter concerns possible reduction of the tariffs for vulnerable public strata. However, this will happen at the expense of other consumers. Tariff policy revision will also cover agriculture and processing industry. These measures will not be implemented with the state budget funds.
To note, according to mass media, the Public Services Regulatory Commission cannot reach significant progress in the issue of revising gas tariffs for vulnerable public strata. Mass media reports that according to the Commissions' calculations this will inevitably lead either to drop of income of Gazprom Armenia or increase of gas tariffs for remaining customers. At the same time, the Commission hopes that tariffs on Russian gas supplied to Armenia will be reduced, only in such case the Commission will be able to carry out the given task. To recall, according to the watchdog's decision adopted on June 24, both the day and night tariffs of electricity were reduced for ultimate consumers by 2.58 drams or by 5.9% to 46.20drams (from 48.78drams) and 36.20drams (from 38.78drams) respectively. The decision came into force on August 1. On May 31, the Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia (PSRC) made a decision on changes in the gas tariffs. The tariff for households consuming up to 10 thsd cu m of gas per month was reduced from 156 to 146.7 AMD per 1 cu m. The gas tariff for the subscribers consuming over 10 thsd cu m of gas reduced from 276.98 to 257.56 USD in AMD equivalent. Nevertheless, the gas and electricity tariffs in Armenia remain the highest in the region.