A sharp increase in utility tariffs will lead to massive non-payments and destabilization of the situation in the society. So tariffs will be raised gradually and even slower than was announced previously, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said during annual State of the Nation Address on 21 April.
The Belarusian leader noted that the state is forced to gradually increase utility tariffs, otherwise there will be no economic recovery.
“Today enterprises compensate the difference that is not paid by the population. This is the so-called cross-subsidization,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The head of state believes that the increase in tariffs can be justified only if the quality of services improve, extra costs are reduced and wages increase.
The president revealed that the officials from the IMF, that is ready to provide a loan to Belarus on condition of elimination of cross-subsidies, had agreed with his reasons.
“We can not reach a 100% mark in a year and a half. We will do it calmly, in four or five years,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
He also instructed the State Control Committee to “once again investigate the price and cost” of housing and communal services.
“And I am sure that once you do it, we will find out that people now compensate not 60-65%, but as much as 85%,” the president said.
The growth of utility tariffs is one of the conditions for Belarus to get an IMF loan of $3 billion. Earlier it was reported that Belarusians will be compensating 75% of utility costs by the end of 2017, and 100% in 2018.