The housing and municipal utilities reform in Russia "is being fulfilled, but slowly," President Vladimir Putin stated at a press conference in the Kremlin on Friday. According to him, it is the most sensitive issue for people.
The President believes Russia's housing and municipal utilities have found itself in such a state for two reasons: significant underfinancing of the sector and lack of market management mechanisms. Putin believes, that in order to resolve the problem these causes should be eliminated.
Besides, the Head of State believes "the main thing is that financing should go to citizens, consumers instead of enterprises." It is people, who should receive budget money, sent for financing of organisations, which provide increasingly more expensive and of poorer quality services to people," the President said.
According to Putin, "it is necessary to give money to consumers to enable them to organise associations and hire on the market organisations providing housing and municipal utilities services." "The federal centre alone cannot do it. It can be achieved by joint efforts of the government, regions and municipalities," the President pointed out.
According to him, it is quite a complicated issue, as it is connected with possible tariff increase. "However, if the reform is professionally conducted there must be no tariff increases," Putin said.
He expressed hope that the recently adopted laws restricting the regional authorities' opportunity to raise heating and electric energy tariffs without having grounds and consulting the government would also play a positive role.