MOSCOW, October 21 (Itar-Tass) —— The houses of elderly people and veterans should be connected to the gas supplies free of charge, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.
During a videoconference with the United Russia regional election staffs the United Russia deputies from Volgograd, who dwelt on the problem over the connection of the houses to gas supplies. The connection of one house to the gas pipeline costs from 70,000 to 120,000 roubles and far from all people can afford it.
“The subsidizing mechanism of the interest rate of a credit is correct, but in some cases people just cannot take this credit, as this is the responsibility of municipal authorities,” the president believes. “Elderly people, veterans should receive it freely,” he noted. “It is necessary to evaluate who can pay [for the connection to the gas supplies] and who cannot pay for it,” Medvedev pointed out. The president offered working citizens to take a credit with the interest rate compensated by employers and local authorities.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin agreed with this approach, warning that “the allocations will have to be made from the regional budget.” “We will ask deputies and governors to bear in mind that this is our sphere of responsibility,” he stated.
Medvedev, who headed the Gazprom Board of Directors several years ago, recalled that the gas supply connection level in Russian rural districts made about 20% and 100% in the former Soviet republics. “We connected all territories to the gas supplies some time ago, but failed to do it in Central Russia, Siberia and the Far East,” the president stated. He acknowledged, “I am glad that I engaged personally in the settlement of this problem, because we succeeded to solve this problem in several territories.” The president noted that he gave instructions to accelerate the gas connection works. Medvedev recalled that “trunk and inter-rural pipelines are within Gazprom authority, and the municipalities and regions are responsible for the gas supply connection of houses.” Putin emphasized that the federal authorities assist Gazprom to fulfill the gas connection targets. The gas supply tariffs will be raised by 15% starting from 2012 that is higher than the tariffs of other natural monopolies.
First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, who heads the Gazprom Board of Directors, stated that Gazprom will allocate 21 billion roubles for the gas supply connection in the Volgograd Region in 2012-2013 and urged local authorities “to find another three billion roubles to connect the gas supplies to each house.”
“This work (for the gas connection) should be continued, because we have an opportunity to provide the gas supplies to the whole country from Kaliningrad to the Far East, this will be a revolutionary transition in the life of people, we cannot relax and should complete the work,” Medvedev underlined.