Local councils can invest budget funds in the modernization
of the energy sector, thereby allowing within a few years to achieve energy
efficiency in the cities of Ukraine, instead of receiving numerous appeals to
prevent raising tariffs that have no legal grounds. This was stated by Prime
Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman at a seminar for regional mass media on
energy efficiency and a tariff policy of the Government on Thursday.
Commenting on the adoption by local councils a decision to send
an appeal to prevent an increase of gas tariffs, the Prime Minister noted that
it is likely a declaration that has no legal grounds as calculations of tariffs
for housing and utility services are fixed locally.
"A communal enterprise makes bills basing on their own
tariffs and transfers them to Kyiv to be reviewed and approved. Who is the
owner of this communal enterprise? The owner is a territorial community. And
who controls it? Your local City Council. Why does the
City Council decide to stop raising tariffs by their local company? It is
sufficient to say to your head not to make any calculations, to fix a
loss-making tariff and we will compensate it from the city budget as the
difference in tariffs", said Volodymyr Groysman.
However, the Head of Government noted that such a policy
would be ineffective. "I mind such an approach, as this approach means
guzzling. I am for having a market-based tariff to ensure protection for
everyone who needs protection", he accentuated.
Volodymyr Groysman stressed that local budgets had received
additional millions and billions [hryvnyas] due to the ongoing financial
decentralization. "They have to invest and within 2-3 years [the cities]
will achieve energy efficiency", urged the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister gave an example of the Kyiv City Council,
which had established a moratorium on heating tariffs until 1 October. However,
the heating season starts on October 15.
"It is about the fact that this means populism. There are
politicians who urge city councils to make decisions. They need these
[decisions] not to protect, but to make an information campaign against the
tariffs", said Volodymyr Groysman.
The Prime Minister stressed that populism is the enemy of
the country, while Ukraine needs true and honest leadership. “The time for
populism has gone, because populism is destroying us, taking away jobs,
independence, the ability to be free. Now there is time for the responsible
policy, responsible decisions, possibly for unpopular decisions. But in the end
we should succeed, this is what our Government focuses on", summed up