Wednesday, November 20 2019 15:06
Naira Badalian

Current water tariff will be maintained in Armenia in 2020

Current water tariff will be maintained in Armenia in 2020

ArmInfo.The current water tariff will not increase in 2020, and water users continue to pay 180 drams per cubic meter. Chairman of the Public Services Regulatory  Commission (PSRC) of Armenia Garegin Baghramyan stated this on  November 20 after discussing the application of a single operator of  the water supply and sanitation system - the "Veolia" french Group. 

According to Baghramyan, the Commission decided to maintain the  current tariff. At the same time, as the head of the Regulator said,  from January 2020 the government will not subsidize the difference in  tariff in the amount of 11.414 drams per 1 cubic meter of water,  established from January 1, 2018 at the level of 191.414 drams per 1  cubic meter.

Earlier, ArmInfo reported that "Veolia Djur" applied to the Public  Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) to review the current tariff  for drinking water from the current 180 drams per 1 cubic meter up to  181.8 drams (including VAT). In September this year in an interview  with ArmInfo, the head of the Regulator said that despite the  availability of the application, the tariff will remain unchanged in  2020 and 2021.

According to him, over the past months, the Armenian government has  been negotiating with "Veolia Djur" around the water tariff. As a  result, due to additional tax fees and in exchange for a reduction in  the rent for the network, an agreement was reached to reduce the  basic tariff for water. As a result, a single water supply operator  turned to the Regulator with a request to increase the water tariff  to 181.8 drams, and not to 211 drams stipulated by the 15-year  agreement for 2020.

In addition, as Bagramyan explained, according to established  practice, annually, until August 10, the "Veolia Djur" company  appeals to the PSRC, taking as a basis the base tariff and  adjustments depending on the tariff for electricity, inflation, as  well as the volume of retail supplies in the field water supply. In  the latter case, actual volumes of water sales are taken into account  in comparison with the basic indicators fixed in the lease. But,  since Veolia traditionally uses data from the beginning of the year  to June, and the PSRC has data for July as well, when the tariff is  revised, the regulator is based on its own more recent data. "In July  of this year, compared with July 2018, water consumption increased by  about 1 million cubic meters, which automatically leads to a certain  reduction in the tariff. That is, only on the basis of this factor,  the proposed tariff of 181.8 drams is reduced by 1 dram", Baghramyan  said.

The recorded increase in consumption, as explained by the head of the  PSRC, is the result of a decrease in theft of water and illegal  consumption, as well as economic growth. For the third year in a row,  the Regulator monitors the actual volumes of water supply by  "retailers" to identify cases of illegal connection to the water  supply system and violations.  The last important factor that gives  rise to the optimistic forecast of PSRC is the position recorded in  the license agreement with "Veolia Djur". "When a tariff is specified  in the range of plus or minus 0.5% of the current tariff, the tariff  is revised. Based on the above factors, I am more than sure that the  current tariff will not be revised. Moreover, the tariff will not be  kept at the expense of the planned investment, " said the head of the  department. As of today, as Garegin Baghramyan stated, an agreement  was reached with "Veolia Djur" ("Veolia Djur", a daughter of the  French Veolia Enviroment SA,  Ed. note) to maintain the basic water  tariff at the level of 176.4 drams for 2020-2021 

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