The investment programs of RAO UES, the Gazprom gas holding and the Russian Railroad Ministry could be reduced by RUR30bn (about $941.67m) to RUR35bn (about $1.10bn), which will allow for increasing tariffs by half as much as natural monopolies want in 2003, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Budget Committee Ashot Yegiazaryan told RBC.
According to Yegiazaryan's data, RAO UES sent a request to the government to increase fees for using its networks by 18.9 percent. Gazprom would like to increase gas tariffs by 37 percent next year. The Railroad Ministry is planning to increase its tariffs by 20.6 percent.
As the deputy believes, if tariffs suggested by natural monopolies are adopted, the inflation rate will exceed 10-12 percent. "In the end, this will lead to a decline in the real income of citizens", Yegiazaryan stressed. At the same time, expenditures of natural monopolies could be reduced via implementing programs for costs optimization and for increasing production efficiency, he believes.