For all residential users in Ukraine, it is offered to introduce state regulation of gas prices for the period of quarantine restrictions or until the end of the heating season. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated during a Government meeting on January 13.
According to the Prime Minister, for this period the price is suggested to fix at UAH 6.99 per cubic meter for all household consumers.
"Today this is the lowest price on the Ukrainian stock exchange. Meanwhile, some regional gas providers are selling gas to residential users at a price of UAH 10 and even higher. That is, it is proposed to reduce the price of gas by almost 30%," stressed Denys Shmyhal.
In addition, the Prime Minister commissioned the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture, the Ministry of Justice and other central executive bodies to immediately prepare a draft resolution on state regulation of gas prices for the period of quarantine restrictions or until the end of the heating season.
At that, Denys Shmyhal stressed that the decision on state regulation of gas prices does not mean that the Government refuses to develop the gas market in Ukraine.
"After all, the approach when the price of gas is regulated by supply and demand is in effect in all developed countries. Gas is becoming the same commodity as bread or internet services. Competition means the elimination of the monopoly of individual gas suppliers who earned extra profits, and therefore were interested in the market never operating," said the Prime Minister.
Apart from that, the PM noted that as long as the gas market continues to form, the state will support people, especially retirees and vulnerable groups. He added that the decision on state regulation of prices is temporary and will be used until the end of the heating season or until the end of the quarantine restrictions.
"During this time, the Government and other authorities will be able to create all the conditions for market rules to work in full. Such rules will mean that some gas suppliers will no longer be able to enjoy their monopoly position and increase tariffs exorbitantly," urged Denys Shmyhal.
According to the Prime Minister, the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission (NEURC) is also launching a thorough inspection of all gas suppliers, which currently have the highest gas distribution tariffs. According to him, the situation in settlements where small GDN (gas distribution network) operators function serving a small number of consumers, is especially problematic.
"This issue must be resolved in the near future," the Prime Minister stressed.
During the session, the Prime Minister also instructed the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Policy to establish a subsidy mechanism to help people who use electricity to heat their homes.