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YABLOKO criticizes Economic Minister Elvira Nabiullina

Press Release
May 15, 2009

YABLOKOs leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed protest in connection with the plans of the Economic Ministry to raise gas prices by 15 per cent for companies and by 5 per cent for the population.

Gas tariffs have already been raised this year by almost 30 per cent, which is two times higher than inflation forecasted by the Russian State Statistical Committee [Rosstat]. According to Rosstats data, real disposable incomes of the population dropped by 5 per cent, said Mitrokhin. He also reiterated that Chairman of the Government had promised to reduce tariffs, however, this promise was not implemented.

The ten per cent difference between tariffs for companies and population is hypocritical, as it has to demonstrate a touching concern of the government over population, said Mitrokhin. According to YABLOKOs leader, it is obvious that the raise of tariffs for enterprises will be many times multiplied via the electrical energy sector which functions mainly on gas, and, consequently, will push up heating prices, railway transportation costs, etc., all over economy, thus inevitably affecting consumer prices.

We are indignant that the Economic Ministry does not do anything for transparency of the tariffs and releasing Gazprom and other monopolies of their non-core assets, - said Mitrokhin, - Gazprom goes on paying astronomic bonuses to its heads, financing football teams, foreign teams inclusive, does not give up a costly Gazpromcity project, etc. In crisis, when all industrial enterprises are affected, the Economic Ministry allows Gazprom to preserve its super profits at the expense of virtually all the citizens and enterprises of the country, he stressed. According to Mitrokhin, all this demonstrates complete professional failure of the Ministry, as well as its inability to develop a sound strategy for overcoming the crisis.

Meanwhile the YABLOKO faction in the Moscow City Duma submitted for examination of the Moscow City Duma a draft law obliging natural monopolies and companies on budget funding applying regulated tariffs and extra charges to disclose and publish their financial information in the Internet.

Draft federal law On Introduction of Changes into Some Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Targeted at Raising Transparency of the Economic Performance of Natural Monopolies and Other Organisations Functioning in the Areas with Reduced or Lacking Competition is aiming at bringing such organisations under state and public control.

YABLOKO has already conducted unsanctioned picketing by the Gazprom building. Today the party applies for obtaining an allowance for picketing by the Ministry of Economic Development. The picket should take place at Triumfalnaya square on May 20 at 12 a.m. The slogan of the action is Nabiullina, blowing of tariffs provokes populations patience! YABLOKOs leader Sergei Mitrokhin is going to personally participate in the drive for signatures under an address to the President asking him to take urgent measures for reduction of natural monopolies tariffs.

See also:

Will Monopolies Tariffs Be Transparent? Press Release. May 12, 2009
Housing and Utilities Reform
Anti-monopoly legislation

Press Release
May 15, 2009