In Armenia, gas and electricity tariffs are calculated by the logic of a soviet-type planning system, i.e. the greater the expenses shown by gas and electric power companies, the higher the prices, economist Vahagn Khachatryan said Friday at a discussion in Yerevan’s Media Centre press club.
“Yesterday, the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) approved a 20 billion drams investment program for Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA). Do you know what will follow? The ENA will implement these investments and subsequently say that these investments should be included in the expenses, and therefore, increased rates are needed,” Khachatryan claimed.
The PSRC’s proposal to decrease the electricity tariff by 3-4 drams is unreasonable, as stated by the economist: “Our calculations show that the a cubic meter of gas should cost 100 drams instead of 156, while electricity rates could be reduced by at least 10 drams.”
Economic analyst Hayk Gevorgyan, in turn, said that before discussing the issue of increasing or decreasing the electricity tariff, “we should first determine whether the current price is justified.” Armenian electricity rates, he added, are quite high, as opposed to salaries. “All other issues would resolve themselves if salaries were to be increased,” Gevorgyan insisted.