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Ukraine government raises gas and heating prices

Gas prices would increase by 73% starting from May 1

KIEV, April 02. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian government has made the decision on rise in gas and heating prices, parliament-appointed Finance Minister Alexander Shlapak told a news conference on Wednesday.

The decision would be announced publicly on Thursday, the minister said, adding that “gas tariffs will come into effect starting from May 1, while heating tariffs - from July 1”.

The minister said the existing gas and heating prices had not been revised for years, and failed to meet the economically justified levels. He said low gas prices for the population were a heavy financial burden on Naftogaz national oil and gas company of Ukraine as well as on the state budget from which the state had to compensate for the scarcity of company funds.

Gas prices would increase by 73% on the average starting from May 1, while heating prices would grow by 40% , he said.

The minister said heating prices would not go up in some regions, where economically justified prices were already in place. Two state regulatory authorities - the state energy commission as well as the state commission for municipal services, were to make the final decision on the price hike, he said.

Parliament-appointed Minister for Social Policy Lyudmila Denisova said the state was envisaging compensations for underprivileged Ukrainian nationals.

Shlapak said the government planned to reach economically justified gas and heating tariffs for the population within four years.