Discontented and angry businessmen are a nightmare of any government. Few people hate Ukrainian officials and monopolists as much as the Ukrainian business does.
Today, I was convinced of this once again at a meeting with entrepreneurs of the Zhytomyr region. And although we were supposed to talk about the abuses of the regional gas companies in the matter of introducing remote gas metering, it seems to me, we have discussed all possible business problems.
Even including the issues of legislative settlement of the visiting hours of the natural monopolists’ management in the region.
The key things which small and medium business emphasized.
- “Zhytomyrhas” company is abusing its monopoly position wherever it can. Consumers are advised to use the services of exclusively the “right” planners and of the installation offices imposed by the company itself.
It is impossible to personally address the management of the monopolist either during day or night. It takes months to review documents. And so on. A standard set of a Ukrainian monopolist.
I am collecting relevant materials in the cases like this. I will send appeals to the Antimonopoly Committee. I will not turn a blind eye to the abuses of the monopolies.
- The issue of installing instruments for remote recording of the data on gas consumption for small business owners.
In fact, this is a problem of an all-Ukrainian scale. Tens of thousands of entrepreneurs nationwide are forced to install special equipment, even though altogether they consume far less than 1% of gas.
As if their small domestic boilers could unbalance the system. So far, everything looks like an attempt by monopolists – the operators of gas distribution mechanisms – to get additional profits using their favourite schemes.
I see no valid technical justification. The legal grounds in the form of a doubtful paragraph from the Code of gas distribution mechanism require careful analysis. I am examining this issue and considering the option of settling it at the level of a Law of Ukraine.
- The issue of the unreliability of gas accounting. Everybody is already sick and tired of it.
Both consumers and gas companies. It is a complicated issue.
It can be solved by shifting to the calculation of the received calories, instead of the consumed volumes. By the way, this accounting practice exists in Europe. No one seems to complain. Perhaps we should use the European experience.
- Summing up. I think all the time about launching an initiative that could stop the abuse of gas distribution companies, the majority of which are owned by the notorious Firtash, once and for all.
We all know that the majority of gas pipelines, which are the material basis of the activities of the monopolists, belong to the state and local communities.
That is, they are not the property of the regional gas companies, but the property of people. So, in fact, we are actually robbed with the help of our own property.
So why don’t we take the wheel? Why don’t we try and set up communal enterprises on the basis of gas networks?
It is true that not all cities of the country have such an opportunity and not all cities need this. But today the people of Zhytomyr clearly showed me they were ready to bear all the risks and responsibility for the stability of gas supply in their city.
I believe that the authorities should hear the people and fulfill their will. I will support the active actions of the residents of Zhytomyr about the creation of their communal gas enterprise, which will not take weeks to issue some simple technical documents. I will demand that all necessary measures be taken by the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Energy and Coal.