Barqi Tojik does not plan to raise electricity prices

July 29, 2010, Payrav Chrshanbiyev

Current electricity prices are quite convenient for us, Abdullo Yorov, the chairman of the Barqi Tojik power holding (Tajik electricity supplier), announced at a news conference in Dushanbe n July 28.

“By raising the electricity prices we will complicate life of consumers who have paid for electricity honestly while those who were stealing will just begin stealing more,” said Yorov, “Of course, as any other large enterprise, Barqi Tojik needs profit; however, I think it is not quite right to get a profit through raising product rates. Lets wait till January 1, 2011, we shall see when the time comes.”

According to him, the power holding ought to streamline its work under the current rates. “We have debtors and it is necessary to collect these funds,” the Barqi Tojik top manager noted.

As of July 1, 2010, consumers owed 579.5 million somoni to Barqi Tojik. The most incorrigible nonpayers are the Ministry of Land Reclamation Water Resources (LRWR) – 142.3 million somoni, the Ministry of Agriculture – 25.6 million somoni, and the state unitary enterprise, Vodokanal (waterworks) – 15 million somoni. Residential customers now owe some 180 million to Barqi Tojik.

Yorov noted that the rate of the collection of funds had improved lately. “In January-June this year, the rate of the collection of funds was 74 percent, which is 15 percent higher than in the same period last year,” Yorov said.

On the other hand, rise in electricity rates is recommendations from international financial institutions that have funded various projects in the energy sector, Yorov noted. “Besides, to raise or not the electricity prices is in competence of the antimonopoly agency as this governmental body determines rates,” he said.

International donor organizations have recommended Tajikistan to raise the average price of one kWh of electricity to 2.5 cents by 2010 in order to make the energy sector profitable and attractive for potential foreign investors, and therefore, Tajikistan has raised electricity prices on average by 50 percent every year (the government usually raised electricity prices by 25 percent at the beginning of the year and by 25 percent in May or June) justifying that by the necessity of implementing the energy sector reform program and promoting the country’s economic development program, worked out with support from international financial institutions.

At the beginning of this year, electricity prices in Tajikistan were raised by 20-25 percent, depending on the category of consumers. Current prices are 9.00 dirams per one kWh of electricity for residential customers, 21.30 dirams for industrial enterprises (Tajik Aluminum Company pays 8.20 dirams per one kWh), 8.50 dirams for federally funded organizations and public utilities, and 7.50 dirams for pump stations and electrically-powered public transport.