YEREVAN, June 24. / ARKA / A parliament member from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia said today the government would take additional measures to mitigate the impact of a possible increase in electricity price on socially vulnerable segments of the population.
According to Artak Davtyan, chairman of a parliament committee on science, education, culture, youth and sport affairs, "it is necessary to make an objective assessment of the situation in relation to the possible increase in electricity prices expected to come into force from August 2014 so that it does not become an additional burden on the socially vulnerable segments of the population.”
Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) said earlier it would allow power generating and distributing companies to increase the price by 3.8-4.3 drams for 1 kWh (including VAT) from the 1st of August.
The move comes one year after PSRC permitted electricity price to soar by almost 27 percent in July last year following a surge in the cost of Russian natural gas supplied to Armenia.
"Time will tell how this issue should be resolved, but one thing is clear – the electricity price can not be contained all the time, especially that power companies seek to make capital expenditures to ensure stable and reliable energy supply," Davtyan said.
He argued that electricity producers are forced to increase the price because ‘in recent years they have operated with virtually no profit.”
According to official data, the level of poverty in Armenia is over 32%. The electricity price is currently set at 38 drams (9 U.S. cents) per kilowatt/hour. The PSRC wants to raise it to 42 drams per kilowatt/hour. ($ 1 - 409 drams). -0 -