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Anatoli Golov hands to Vladimir Putin amendments to the law on housing and communal services sector reform protecting the rights of consumers of housing and communal sector services

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During the meeting between Vladimir Putin and members of the Human Rights Commission under the President of Russia Anatoli Golov, Co-Chairman of Consumers' Union of Russia, Director of the Institute of Social Policies of the YABLOKO party and member of the Federal Council of the YABLOKO party, handed to the head of state proposals on protection of the rights of consumers of housing and communal sector services. The meeting was timed to coincide with the International Day of Human Rights in the Kremlin on December 10, 2002.

Explaining after the meeting why he thought it important to draw the attention of the President to the problem of reform in the housing and communal services sector, Golov said that "society has just concerns that the reform will lead to a rise in housing and communal services prices, and that the quality of these services will fall."

According to Golov, "another step in this direction will involve preparation by the government and adoption by the State Duma in the first reading of the amendments o the law "On the Basis of Federal Housing Policy".

Golov mentioned the new version of Article 15 of this law as an example ("Payment of Housing and Communal Services"). The article "sets a legal basis for payment of housing and communal sector services and contains a number of provisions targeted at raising the expenditures of citizens," stressed Golov, adding: "The consumer has the right to know what he is paying for and should only pay for services that he actually received" .

In the proposals handed to President Putin the Consumers' Union proposes to introduce to this article the provision on the obligation of the government to approve rules and standards regarding the quality and volume of communal services. Organisations rendering housing and communal services should, in accordance with the proposals of the Union, register the actual services and re-calculate payments if they provided services of a lesser volume or lower quality than envisaged by the standards. Consumers should be entitled to a corresponding decrease in the payment, as well as reimbursement of material and moral losses.

Golov also thinks that it is necessary to create favourable conditions for consumers' unions in housing and communal sector services and owners of housing, "otherwise the state will have to perform t functions that are not appropriate for the state and are moreover badly managed by the state."

See also:

Housing and Communal Reform

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