Tuesday, November 8 2016 15:50
Naira Badalian

Expert: Decision on revision of gas tariff has exclusively political reasons

Expert: Decision on revision of gas tariff has exclusively political  reasons

ArmInfo. The decision on  revision of gas tariff has exclusively political reasons, member of  the Armenian National Congress, economist Vahagn Khachatryan told  journalists on November 8. 

According to the expert, consumption of electricity has declined by  7% within 9 months of this year. The same relates to supply of gas to  Armenia (in 2015 supply of gas to Armenia declined by 100 cu.m, the  amounts in 2016 will decline by 60-100 mln cu.m according to the  forecasts). The company's statement about the possible increase of  consumption as a result of tariff reduction does not hold against  criticism. 

According to the expert reduction of consumption amounts is the  result of migration and decline of population, rather than high  tariff on gas. According to him if the Public Services Regulatory  Commission and Gazprom had stated about possible revision from  January 1, 2016 when there were really objective reasons for such a  revision (2.5-fold drop of world prices on fuels and devaluation of  Ruble against dollar) one could believe in the company's "benevolent  intentions". The expert thinks that today it is too late for such a  step, it looks improbable and politically motivated. "The only reason  why the process of revision could have been initiated is the upcoming  elections", he stated. 

The expert told about his concerns. Thus, according to rough  calculations Gazprom Armenia will loose 14- 15 bln drams (30-31 mln)  as a result of proposed reduction. "Maybe after the elections, in the  middle of the next year PSRC of Armenia will state that the company  has applied for increasing the tariff as it suffers losses",  Khachatryan stated. At this background the expert does not believe in  Gazprom's readiness to assume the full risk related to tariff  reduction. "Such gifts may have bad results, as it happened in 2014  when Armenia was receiving cheap gas from Russia but later it turned  out that it should pay $300 mln", Khachatryan recalled. 

In his opinion, the authorities have researched the most sensible  issues for the population and decided to gain its favor on the  threshold of the elections.  To remind, the company previously  reported the initiation of the tariff revision process, after the  Gazprom-Armenia suggested to decrease basic tariffs for 5,2-6% The  subscribers having a right to social allowances and consuming less  than 600 cu m of gas per annum will pay 100 thsd AMD per 1 thsd cu m;  2.  greenhouse facilities will pay 212 conventional units per 1 thsd  cu m from November 1 till March 31; 3.  processing enterprises will  pay 212 conventional units per 1 thsd cu m; 4.  subscribers consuming  less than 10 thsd cu m per month will pay 139 thsd AMD per 1 thsd cu  m; 5.  subscribers consuming more than 10 thsd cu m of gas per month  will pay 242.1 conventional units per 1 thsd cu m.  For every  consequent thousand of cu m they will be charged USD 212.  Along with  that, there are no bonuses set out for gas filling stations, budget  funded entities and TPPs generating electric power for domestic  consumption.  Yesterday the Head of the PSRC stated that the Russian  Gazprom will assume full risk related to reduction of gas tariff.  

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