Russian Government To Control Increase In Tariffs On Natural Monopolies' Services

Russian vice-premier Ilya Klebanov confirmed the government's intention to "strictly control" the increase in tariffs on services provided by natural monopolies. Speaking Friday at a session of the Central federal district's Council Klebanov reminded that the recent session of the Cabinet of Ministers passed a decision in compliance with which the maximum limit of tariff increase in any natural monopoly cannot exceed 35 percent a year. According to the vice-premier, natural monopolies' representatives proposed considerably higher figures. Specifically, the Railways Ministry wanted to increase its tariffs by 66 percent in 2002. Klebanov believes that the government's strict control over tariff increase will tell on both budget revenues and industrial production growth, which largely depend on railway transportations.