NCFD responsible for half of debts for consumed gas in Russia

NCFD responsible for half of debts for consumed gas in Russia

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree that allows 20 regions of the Russian Federation to create territorial development zones that will receive certain state support to stimulate regional economy. Among such regions are the six republics of the North Caucasus. As Medvedev said at the meeting of the Government Commission on socio-economic development of the North Caucasus Federal District (NCFD), situation with the fuel and energy sector in the district remains complex due to accumulated debts. This debt continues to grow. This year debt grew by 6.6 billion rubles - about 10%. If previous years' debts are taken into account, the total debt as of November 1 this year is more than 70 billion rubles. which is more than half of the debts for gas consumed in the country. 

Electricity debts also continue to grow. It getting harder and harder for regional suppliers, part of Rosseti, to pay generating companies. Since the beginning of this year total debt grew by 25% and amounted to almost 25 billion rubles - 41% of Russia's total debt on the wholesale market.

The level of current payments on the retail market amounts to about 90%, total debt is about 21 billion rubles. The situation is aggravated by the fact that electricity tariffs in some regions are still unreasonably low and their energy companies don't have necessary economic efficiency. 

Speaking about reasons for such growth, Medvedev noted that it is primarily associated with low payment discipline. According to him, situation should be resolved by energy companies together with regional authorities and municipalities, in particular through the creation of a unified payment centers. 

"This year, regional and local budget organizations did everything possible to stop electricity and gas debts growth. But there are still problems," he said.

One of them - bad accounting of supplied energy. Caucasus electric and gas infrastructure is worn out, rate of losses during transportation is too high. "It must be modernized and it is the task of companies to install meters, just like it is done all over the country. Energy companies carry out such work, but it must be accelerated. In addition, losses often come from stolen gas and electricity. And those who do this often get off with administrative fines. Law enforcement authorities should continue to work on this direction, identifying violations and crimes, quickly respond to signals of electric companies. But most importantly, such cases should be brought to the court," Medvedev said.

He also noted that the industry has various schemes of avoiding debts payment, in particular when utilities organizations, network and supply companies are filling for bankruptcy. It worsens criminal situation in the North Caucasus Federal District, obstructs economic growth, reduces investment appeal of the district.

According to the head of the Ministry of Northern Caucasus, Lev Kuznetsov, current situation can be explained not only by problems with tariffs, but also by the position of some municipalities that don't pay intentionally: "North Ossetia already made decision on these municipalities, a few mayors heads of municipalities were dismissed from their posts. Today we also made decision on consolidation of assets together with Gazprom and Rosseti. We hope that considering the urgency of this issue and control over the situation with payments at the highest level positive dynamics will appear."

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