MOSCOW, August 31 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the public consumption norms fixed by utilities should be justified and meet consumers' interests. "The theme is very sensitive. We repeatedly said that the tariff policy should be civilized and prices - justified," he underlined.
The prime minister demanded measures to prvent price hikes for the low-income strata of the population: "the groups receiving aid should be protected from unjustified increase in the prices of utility services and have a separate entry to confirm it in all documents."
It is necessary that the new system take into account the interests of consumers and climatic conditions of this or that region. "For example, electricity norms in the south of the country and in the northernmost region should differ. They will be differentiated not only geographically, but also by other parameters," Medvedev said.
He reminded that beginning from 2013, "several regions will take part in the experiment to fix public consumption norms for electricity, while from 2014, the principle of dual tariffs - social and above-norm - will be applied all over the country.
It will be applied to water supply starting from 2015. "The public consumption norms for heating and gas supply will be introduced at the final phase," he stressed. The decision will depend on the results of the use of pilot public norms for other kinds of utility services.