PM Mikhail Kasyanov On Price Policy Of Natural Monopoly Subjects

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov believes that a shift can be seen today in the price policy of the subjects of natural monopolies--something that hampers Russia's economic growth. The prime minister said as much opening a cabinet meeting Thursday, which spotlights the situation around the regulation of prices and tariffs for the natural monopolies' products in 2002. By way of example, he cited the situation in the gas sector where home tariffs are 5- or 6-fold less than the price for gas exported to the CIS states and abroad. The prime minister noted that the gas price covered its cost by merely a half, whereas export prices for this product are fluctuating. Kasyanov criticised the lack of energy saving technologies in the country. The same is true about the situation with the railway transport and electric power sector. The prime minister holds the view that gradual efforts should be made in this direction, going by modernisation and strengthening the infrastructure with the help of energy saving technologies.