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Sergey Pikin: Power Transmission Price Freeze for a Year will not Make an Effect.

Parlamentskaya Gazeta's center held a round table on "The Causes and Consequences of Power Transmission Price Freeze." Sergey Pikin, Director of Energy Development Fund, opened the meeting by stating that the price freeze is a "forced measure."

"The economic growth is very low. Two percent growth would be an achievement already," was the expert's conviction. According to Pikin, the Government is actively searching for ways to stimulate the economic growth. "However, freezing gas and electricity prices for the natural monopolies will not provide the desired effect. To improve the situation the price needs to be fixed for at least three to five years," said Pikin. He is convinced that what is needed now is to "change the regulation system" or "fix the regulation", and moreover, introduce long-term pricing. "The prices should be left as they are for the next five years, then there will be an effect," stressed Pikin.

In his turn, Alexander Hurudzhi, member of the Expert Council for the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service, noted that the main question today is "for how long this situation will persist." "It should be understood that this is a huge message for the power consumers. Because translated into economic terms we are talking about a price reduction of 6 percent, which is quite significant for the consumer, meaning up to fifty percent of profit," said the specialist. However, he thinks one year is not the time it takes to get a tangible effect.

The chairperson of the Civic Chamber Commission for local self-government and public utilities Svetlana Razvorotneva pointed out that we are dealing with "an insanely complicated pricing system," and "an insane amount of electricity does not reach the consumer." "This creates big problems, I don't agree that the prices should be frozen forever – this is just a temporary solution. The main thing today is to build the system of analyzing the price bids," said Razvorotneva. According to her, the price "freeze" is just a response to the current "mayhem" in pricing.