State Duma puts off discussion of draft laws on reforming power industry till next year

This year the State Duma will not discuss the draft laws on reforming the national power company, the Unified Energy Systems of Russia.

On Monday, the Council of the Lower House of the Russian Parliament took a decision to postpone this question till the end of January, next year.

As the Chairman of the Lower House, Gennady Seleznev, told reporters, "serious talks are going on concerning the amendments" to draft laws on reforming the power industry.

The reform, proposed by the head of the Unified Energy Systems of Russia, Anatoly Chubais, provides for the division of the monopolist company into separate structures and privatization of key enterprises. However, the concept proposed by Chubais caused numerous objections. Its opponents believe that such a reform will lead to the loss of state control over this most important sphere and a sharp rise in the tariffs on electric power.

The head of the government information department, Aleksei Gorshkov, said, commenting on the decision of the State Duma, that the government stands for adopting "qualitative, well thought-out draft laws on reforming the power industry." He quoted the head of the Presidential administration, Alexander Voloshin, as saying that "the quality of the reform is no less important than the time limits for its holding."

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