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All-Russia Democratic Assembly
Fourth Meeting

On housing and communal services sector reform

October 21, 2002

The YABLOKO faction in the State Duma will not support the package of draft laws on reform of the electricity sector submitted by the Government to the State Duma.

We, the participants of the All-Russia Democratic Assembly, which unites both public non-The technical and economic state of the housing and communal services sector in Russia is reaching breaking point. This state of affairs is attributable to decades of severe underinvestment, chaos and irresponsibility in administrative bodies at all levels, including the federal government.

Practical steps by the government to reform the sector are fiscal in nature and de facto aim to making citizens pay for the economic policies of the federal authorities, above all for encroachments on financial autonomy and local government.

If we consider the level of incomes and savings of the population and the scope of financial resources required, we can state with confidence that the programme proposed by the government does not contain any mechanisms to resolve the main problems. Until we write off state debts and take other operational measures to establish a market infrastructure in the sector, we will not be able to extricate the sector from its present deep crisis.

In addition, the government is provoking through its actions social and political destabilisation, which has in a number of regions already generated mass-scale public protest.

The All-Russia Democratic Assembly believes that it is necessary to radically change the mechanisms for implementing the programme for housing and communal sector reform and thinks that it is inadmissible to change the tariffs on housing and communal services, until the government, regional and municipal authorities takes the following definite steps, namely:

  • guarantee the transparency of tariffs for the services rendered by national and local monopolies, including RAO UES and Gazprom,
  • promote the creation of voluntary public associations - consumers of the services of the housing and communal sector,
  • exclude from costs all non-production costs that are not directly connected to production activities, including state debts,
  • create a system for accounting for the real value and scope of communal services consumed by the population,
  • establish the mutual responsibilities of the producers and consumers of the services of the sector on a contract basis,
  • transfer the present budget subsidies to the organisations of the sector and privileges to the population's monetary incomes,
  • develop and publicly discuss the programme, including the following:
    • the creation of a competitive market in the housing and communal services sector,
    • a detailed comprehensive set of measures for conducting structural reforms in federation subjects and municipalities,
    • measures for restructuring debts accumulated in the sector, primarily the debts that emerge due to the state's failure to meet its financial obligations before the budget sector, private and state enterprises,
    • development of objective criteria for the formation of a civilised market, on the attainment of which the state should gradually abolish administrative management of the sector.

The Democratic Assembly hereby would like submit the following proposals to the President of the Russia Vladimir Putin:

  • to publicly voice his attitude towards the performance of the Government in reforming the sector,
  • given that reform of the sector will affect all the country's citizens, to guarantee broad discussion of its implementation in the mass media, including the first and the second television channels, involving representatives from the trade unions, consumer rights associations , other public organisations and political parties of the country.

The Democratic Assembly recommends that the parties in the Assembly, which have representation in the State Dum, refuse to support the initiatives of the Government aimed at implementing fiscal reform of the housing and communal services sector.

The fate of the country depends of the success of the reforms in the housing and communal sector and the state of infrastructure that is vitally important to our people.

See also:
Democratic Coalition
Housing and Communal Reform

All-Russia Democratic Assembly. Fourth Meeting. October 21, 2002

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